Joe Ousalice's medal was cut from his uniform in a disgusting display of intolerance
Ousalice, above, a Falklands veteran forced out of the Royal Navy due to his sexuality, has been re-awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and three Good Conduct badges at a ceremony at HMS Excellent, Portsmouth.
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.
The Southampton man said was “over the moon” to get the medal back.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) previously admitted its policy had been:
Wrong, discriminatory and unjust.
Ousalice told the BBC in May he was left isolated by his sacking from the Navy and planned to sue the MoD.
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.
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 Ousalice:
Was treated in a way that would not be acceptable today and for that we apologise. We accept our policy in respect of serving homosexuals in the military was wrong, discriminatory and unjust to the individuals involved.
It is understood a scheme will also be set up by the MoD to return medals to other veterans.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn