Falklands veteran forced out of the Royal Navy due to his sexuality has had a medal returned to him 27 years after it was cut off his chest. Joe Ousalice was a radio operator for 18 years but was discharged in 1993 because of a ban on LGBT people serving in the armed forces.
Mr Ousalice, of Southampton, was over the moon to get the medal back. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) previously admitted its policy had been wrong, discriminatory and unjust.
Mr Ousalice was re-awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and three Good Conduct badges, during a ceremony at HMS Excellent, Portsmouth.
He said: I was living a double life. I had to be careful about what I said and did, and where I went. Basically, I wasn't living my own life. They cut [the medal] off my chest with a big pair of scissors.
Mr Ousalice said he was over the moon - it's just such a shame it's taken 27 years to get it.
I'm not fighting this just for myself but for hundreds of others who have been treated not too dissimilar to myself.
He served on board MV Myrmidon, part of the taskforce sent to liberate the Falkland Islands after the Argentine invasion in 1982.
His career also included six tours of duty in Northern Ireland and he was seconded to a Nato task force.
The medal was stripped from him when he was discharged because his bisexuality was believed to be prejudicial to good order and naval discipline.
The MoD said Mr Ousalice was treated in a way that would not be acceptable today and for that we apologize.
We accept our policy in respect of serving homosexuals in the military was wrong, discriminatory and unjust to the individuals involved, it added.
It is understood a scheme will also be set up by the MoD to return medals to other veterans.
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no comments from islanders or rogerlorton or brit_bobolin on this subject mmmmmmm I find it strange or it seems very clearJan 24th, 2020 - 02:05 am 0
I seldom feel the need to comment on something happening the way it should. good luck to the gentleman.Jan 24th, 2020 - 11:45 am 0
I don't see Rogerlorton or Britbolin talking about this and he was a soldier who fought for youJan 25th, 2020 - 04:04 am 0