June 11th, 2009

Military opinions on DADT

How would someone in the (real-world, present-day) US military respond when asked about a policy they dislike? I'm thinking specifically about Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but it could also apply to any official policy they disagree with.

Not sure how to Google this specifically without getting lots of material on DADT in general. Wikipedia's section on criticism of DADT mentions mostly retired generals, which doesn't help me figure out the regulations for active personnel.

I'm assuming it's not cool for a soldier to openly oppose government positions, but I'm not clear on details, so I would love some context. How far would a soldier be permitted to express their disagreement with, say, their families? What about with a stranger? On television? And how fervent would they have to be before disciplinary action was taken? Would it be a slap on the wrist, or would you get fired? Do people with higher ranks get more leeway on this? Lots of retired generals have spoken out against DADT, but it does tend to be the retired ones, so I'm assuming it's discouraged among the ranks at the very least.

In the specific situation I want to write, a soldier gets asked "what do you think about DADT?" by a stranger. My hunch is that the response would be something along the lines of "I serve my country, and will abide by its laws."

Is there a boilerplate way to say that? (It's the military; they have boilerplate phrases for everything, right?)

Allergies and Malnourishment

Time: Spring 2006

I have a character that suffers from a severe allergy to aspirin. She is 19, fairly healthy with an obsession with staying fit, but suffers from an eating disorder. She tends to eat only small portions at a time, mainly fruits and smoothies. She tends to drink a lot of Diet Coke and the likes.

She is a singer of a rising band and at a certain point backstage, will be slipped a bottle of water or diet coke tainted with aspirin. Thirsty, she'll gulp down quite a bit in one go, before she tastes the asperin.

This results into her suffering an Anaphylactic shock. Emergency services will be called by her friend and an epipen administered.

I know she'll likely suffer from breathing problems, but will these clear as soon sa the epipen is administered, or will these problems continue? What are the chances that she'll stop breathing and needs CPR? And what would the ambulance crew do as soon as they get there?

Also, after the allergy-attack, how long would she be kept in hospital? Considering the fact she 's underweight, would the doctors try to keep her longer? And, considering she is a singer, will her voice be affected in any way, and if yes, for how long?

I tried googling it, but I only found out what to do until the ambulance comes, and no details of anything after that. Any help would be appreciated.