“Army Private Darryl West was on his last leave before going to Vietnam when a group of high school friends took him to his first gay bar, allowing him to accept what he had long denied about himself–that he was gay. Convinced he would be killed if he went to war, West wrote President Johnson and explained that he was gay. Although he wrote that he did not object to Army service in the United States, he worried how he would resist temptation in Vietnam, when there were only men around. West hoped the letter would save him from Vietnam, but it did not.
After West had been in Vietnam several months, CID [Criminal Investigation Division] agents burst into his hooch and took him off for interrogation. The agents held up the letter West had written the President and demanded that West sign a statement saying that he was heterosexual and had just written the letter to get out of going to Vietnam. West refused. After threats of informing his parents failed to secure a recantation, one of the CID agents pulled out his service revolver and put it against West’s head. According to West’s recollection, the agent said, ‘We can shoot you and tell your parents you were killed in action.’ Or West could sign a statement saying that he was not homosexual.
West signed. The agents seemed satisfied and sent West back to his company, where he continued his military service uneventfully.”
– Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 68.