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I wrote this book because you and I both need some inspiration from time to time in a tough world.

I am the last federal employee to have his access to classified information challenged by the government based on being a homosexual.

Our ACLU case resulted in the Secretary of the Department of the Navy adding sexual orientation protection for all civilian employees, over 250,000 workers.

Whether you support these policies or not, they are permanent and historic.

The fact that two individuals, an ACLU counsel and a man living alone with advanced AIDS accomplished this, is inspiring. It means you can dream the impossible dream and it can happen. First, believe in the person you see when you stand in front of a mirror.

A lot has been said about President Bill Clinton and Rep. Barney Frank on the “Don't ask, don't tell” policy.” Some people dislike them immensely. I personally suffered because gays were not liberated in 1993. Since then I have given awards to both of them. I gave them awards because I feel we did our best in 1993-94 and we must move the agenda forward.

So fix “Don't ask, don't tell” but don’t look back; gaze to the forward horizon.

You cannot be a beacon of hope to others unless your light shines. So keep the light of hope burning within and radiate it out to others.

This book is about healing wounds. The names of most Navy officials have been changed. We need to learn together how to make this a better more equal society. You do this through education. You cannot educate if you embarrass people.

We were striving for a Greater Good. We believed in the cause of liberation, justice and equality more than the Navy believed in outdated stereotypes and homophobia. We knew our cause was right.

When you have a higher purpose, a Greater Good and persevere you ultimately prevail.

Thomas A. Swann
June 2003