OUT Q’s Larry Flick had the honor of interviewing former Navy SEAL Brett Jones recently on The Morning Jolt, to discuss Jones’ new book PRIDE, which chronicles Jones’ life as the first openly gay Navy SEAL. Below are the nine best one-liners from Jones’ interview.

1. “As far as being gay in the military … I went in with the mentality that I would have to lie, a lot.” 
Jones tells the story of when he realized he was gay, telling Flick that “I was probably six years old, so I knew, going into the military, that I was obviously gay.” Since then, Jones has always kept a low profile, well aware of the ramifications he would face during his time in the military. Hence, him having to “lie, a lot.”

2. “It was my dream.” 
During the time Jones was stationed, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was in effect, which prohibited the military from discriminating and harassing gay or lesbian personnel in the armed forces. “I went in because it was something that I really, really wanted to do … I just knew that was what I wanted to do.”

3. “It could have been a dishonorable discharge … It’s like being a convicted felon in a lot of states, but the fact that I didn’t have to lie to my brothers was a major relief.”
Jones discusses how he formed friendships with most of the men he served with, remarking, “when they found out, they were incredibly supportive.”

The former Navy SEAL shares his reactions to being outed, revealing that he had a boyfriend at the time, saying he “kept those two lives very separate. There were situations where I had to be creative.”

4. “I’m not telling the navy that I was in a relationship with a guy.”
Jones was deployed two weeks after 9/11. During his homecoming celebration, he recalls the story of how he eventually got caught during a phone call to his boyfriend. “For three months of our lives, they were upside down. I had to get escorted around like a criminal.”

5. “It takes time for that acceptance to become, I guess, more universal in the Navy.”
Once DADT got shut down, it opened up a lot of doors for policy changes. “During that era of DADT, it continued that abhorrence of people who are different. In 2011 you’re allowed to be gay in the military, but it takes time for that acceptance to become, I guess, more universal in the Navy.

6. “In my dream, I’d still be on the SEAL team, and I wake up, and I’m like, ‘ugh. That kind of sucks!'”
Jones humorously mentions how sometimes he would have dreams of being in the Navy. “It was an amazing time in my life.”

7. “I like to protect people, it’s an important satisfaction in my life.”
Jones mentions how whenever he sees people in harm, he gets the innate reaction to protect them. “Honestly, we haven’t been handling the ISIS situation that great, at all.

Jones and Flick also spoke about ISIS, Ebola, and the midterm elections, and how we now have a Republican dominated Senate: “I live in Alabama. Our governor is obviously republican … And he said he single handily prepared the state for the Ebola outbreak. And we have a lot of friends in the medical field who are like ugh, he did?”

 8. “I’m very conservative when it comes to my family, but I’m very independent when it comes to my political views.”
Currently, Brett Jones owns a security company in northern Alabama. Larry Flick thanks Jones and his husband for giving back to our society. “The least estimated people in our society, are the people serving in the military, or walk the beat, or drive a cop car … to go running toward potential fatal conflict is something that most of us would not do.”

9. “[His son] came out to his friends saying ‘Hey, my dad’s a gay’ and it hasn’t been an issue for him since.”
In conclusion, Brett Jones boasted how proud he is of his 13-year-old son. “He’s absolutely the best kid anyone could ask for … It was an issue for him probably two years ago, and finally he came out to his friends … and it hasn’t been an issue for him since.”

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