“The orders were given to bring [Jerry] Rosanbalm home immediately and for his diplomatic passport to…”

“The orders were given to bring [Jerry] Rosanbalm home immediately and for his diplomatic passport to be seized in order to prevent him from traveling elsewhere. Two days after his arrest, handcuffed and escorted by two captains, Jerry boarded a train in Munich bound for Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, a jeep loaded with armed guards took him directly to a commercial jet on the airport tarmac. Armed guards walked him to his seat, with the rest of the plane gaping at the drama. Jerry would be met in New York City by more guards, they told him, and they left.
          Through the entire flight, Rosanbalm contemplated his uncertain future. Less than fourteen months after he had nearly died for his country in Vietnam, he was branded a traitor and faced jail time, not because of any evidence that he had done wrong but because it was assumed a homosexual was a Judas and that any homosexual contact with any citizen from behind the Iron Curtain entailed espionage. His record against Communists in Vietnam did not matter; his Purple Heart and his wounds did not matter. If they could not get him on the espionage charges, they would nail him for sodomy. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, that meant five years in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth.”

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 89-90.

Capt. Jerry Rosanbalm of US Army Military Intelligence was seriously wounded during the 1968 Tet Offensive, nearly losing his arm. He did recover and was sent to Germany in 1969. He met Karel Rohan, a refugee from Czechoslovakia, and the two began a relationship. Army CID began investigating Rosanbalm as a homosexual which led to the above event.

One of the military’s arguments in maintaining the ban on gays and lesbians in the service was that gay service members would be vulnerable to blackmail. In Rosanbalm’s case, his relationship with a Czech national combined with his security clearance as part of military intelligence made CID more suspicious and more aggressive in their case.