For The Convenience of the Government is a memoir of Petty Officer Phillip Zimmerman, who was discharged from military service because of his sexual orientation and the discriminatory policies of the United States Government.
Petty Officer Zimmerman recounts his memories, from his life as a painfullly lonely teenager in Philadelphia to his meteoric rise as one of the most competent and capable Arabic and Farsi Crypto-Linguists in the Navy and the destructive end of a promising career at the hands of a trusted colleague.
This is one man's story about proudly serving his nation while coming to terms with a deep secret about who and what he really is.
The publication of this book is intended to raise the public awareness of the persecution that gay personnel have historically experienced in the U.S. military and to emphasize the necessity of the repeal of the "Dont Ask Don't Tell" policy.
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By Joseph Owen
Feb 3, 2012
CTI2 Phillip Zimmerman is without a doubt one of the best Arabic Linguists I had the pleasure to serve with. I was a CTRSA on the USS La Salle in 1984-85 and CTI2 Zimmerman's insight into the Arabic cultures and the intricacy of the language was extraordinary and was vital to complete COMIDEASTFOR's mission in the Persian Gulf. He was not only a great linguist and sailor but a good friend as well. It is fantastic that finally 25 years after the diservice he received from the Navy that he can finally get the great recognition that is due him. I highly encourage anyone with an interest in our nation's history of equal rights, military history (both the good and the bad of our treatment of men and women), and finally justice to read this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
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