fallen heroes

Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt Died In Afghanistan A Semi-Closeted Gay Soldier: ‘Nobody Cares’ About Sexuality

Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay Minnesota man who went back in the closet to join the military, died Sunday while on patrol in Afghanistan when an IED exploded during an attack on his unit. He was 31. And his mother loved him very, very much.

Believed to be the first gay Minnesota soldier to die in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Wilfahrt (pronounced WIHL’-furt), who enlisted in the Army in January 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan that July, “was a gentle soul,” says his mother Lori. “He was very kind and compassionate. He was interested in a lot of things, but more at a level of detail than what I think most people pursue something. He was fascinated with numbers, and patterns with numbers and palindromes. He would often spot a series of numbers and say, ‘Well, if you add up your birthday and your birthday it equals this.’ Or, ‘All of our birthday dates combined equals our home address.’ Just odd things like that.”

Everybody knows, nobody cares.

He joined the military, Lori says, because he “tried to grow up. He really turned out to be an interesting, wonderful young man. But I think he still sought something else. He was looking for a purpose, a life of meaning.”

As for his sexuality, being gay and joining the military concerned Lori “a lot. I think it concerned him as well. He spent a lot of time thinking about it and he came to terms with it. He knew he would have to go back in the closet, that he would have to keep that to himself. And he did, for at least part of his stay in the Army. But when I talked to him (or when he wrote maybe) when he was in Afghanistan, he said nobody cares. He said, ‘Everybody knows, nobody cares.’ He said, ‘Even the really conservative, religious types, they didn’t care either.’ He said it’s about something else.”

Today, flags in Minnesota are flying at half-mast, on an order from Gov. Mark Dayton.

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  • niles

    My condolences to his family, he sounds like a great person and a fine soldier. I doubt that he was the first gay Minnesotan to die in Iraq or Afghanistan, perhaps the first out one.

  • scribe

    Andrew thank you for your service. I give you the only thing that I can offer, my love and respect.

  • Mark

    Dear Lori, I am so sorry for your loss. Andrew sounds a wonderful man and the world is a better place for him being here. Thank you Andrew for caring and your brave service.

  • Francis

    My condolences to his family. RIP Andrew, a true American patriot and hero.

  • Matt Smith

    My deepest sympathies to the family. My deepest respect to this fine solider.

  • Robbie K

    My respect to the family and to Andrew.

  • [email protected]

    Sincere gratitude for his service to his country even as a second-class citizen, and great sadness for his family.


    Yes, Andrew was lucky enough to be assigned to a unit that seemed not to care if he was gay, but that didn’t happen to the hundreds of gays who’ve been discharged since Obama took office. And, yes, ACTUAL “repeal” of DADT will eventually happen—the latest earliest estimate in sometime in the fall—nearly A YEAR AFTER the bill was signed. But FORGET that bullshit Pentagon propaganda about discharges finally having been stopped. SLDN reports that they’re advising several who are under investigation NOW, and the cloud of fear and lying and hiding partners back home hanging over tens of thousands of other gays in the military is still a soul-killing obscenity!

    Mr. President, who will be the last to die for you in unnecessary silence? And when will you order the Pentagon to stop hounding gays discharged like Dan Choi and Jason Knight to repay their “unearned” reenlistment bonuses, and to give discharged gays 100% of the separation pay they have coming rather than only half like kicked out alcoholics and drug addicts? WHY is the ACLU still having to sue YOU over this…and WHY are your DOJ thugs STILL fighting the court ruling that DADT is unconstitutional?

    “The Pentagon could easily repeal the ban TODAY if there was the political will. [Army Chief of Staff Gen. George] Casey in particular is leaving soon and doesn’t want to be known as the Army chief of staff who let gays in on his watch’, Belkin said. ‘THE FOOT-DRAGGING IS NOT ABOUT SOME SINCERE OR LEGITIMATE SENSE THAT THE TROOPS NEED TO BE TRAINED ON HOW TO DEAL WITH GAYS; it’s because they don’t want to be around when the policy happens’.” – Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin, Washington Blade, January 6, 2011.

    “Any claim that [implementation cannot happen] until after the completion of exhaustive training is inconsistent with DoD history and not based on military necessity.” – Palm Center report, December 2010.


  • Oprah

    RIP Soldier.

    Side note, when his death was televised here in my local Minneapolis, they showed his photo, i immediately guessed he was gay. However, they did not mention he was gay in the news broadcast. Why not?

  • bobby


    because it’s not about him being gay. it’s about him dying, it’s about the loss of a life, not who he slept with. too many young men and women are dying in a pointless war, doesnt matter gay/straight, black white, yellow, brown, it all needs to stop.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Oprah: Becasue being gay is worse than being a Muslim, that’s why.

    He wasted his life.

  • kernelt

    I could feel the tears behind my eyes rushing to come out… My dearest condolences to the family and those who’s close to this brave and heroic soldier.

  • justiceontherocks

    @David Ehrenstein: Are you an adult? A sensible adult wouldn’t write such a thing. You’re not the judge of whether someone “wasted his life.”

  • maddi

    @David Ehrenstein: You should be ashamed of yourself.. Who the hell are you to dictate whether someone wasted their life.
    I feel sorry for your outlook on life. Its disgusting!

  • Oprah

    David Ehrenstein

    In your little sad gay mind, you may think muslims are worst, but in my eyes, Muslims are very good people. Christian are good too. Athiest not so sure, but whose judging. LOL Any God fearing person is good in my eyes. Even a gay God fearing person.LOL

  • PaulE

    Oprah – way to fight ignorance with ignorance. Atheists are GREAT people.

  • Atheism is prejudice too


    Homophobes claim that they are great people too.

  • kae

    “Atheism is prejudice too” is just about the most ignorant thing i’ve read in a long time. Atheism is a lack of belief in god, no more, no less. Is Theism prejudice too ? Fool.

  • Atheism is prejudice too


    Dismissing something with an insult is ignorant.

    Prove my assertion wrong with facts, logic and reason, if you can.

    “Atheism is a lack of belief in god, no more, no less.”

    No. Because the belief in God is based on people’s experiences, atheism is the rejection of the experiences of most of humanity – the assumption that those people are just intrinsically wrong about their own experiences.

    Atheism is a prejudice. As you have demonstrated in your own post, atheists on line use all of the same arguments and tactics that homophobes and racists and other bigots use.

    Of course, you could have made an effort to address the parallel I pointed out – that like PaulE, homophobes claim that they are great, in the right, doing the good thing.

    But instead you chose to rely on insults

    which only proves

    insults are the heart of atheism.

  • KalperniaRena

    Who the heck ‘lol’ed this? Not very funny, actually.

  • B

    No 18 claimed, “Because the belief in God is based on people’s experiences” ……… What experiences? Nobody I know has seen any credible direct evidence of the existence of a deity. Not even a disembodied head proclaiming, “I AM OZ.”

    I did meet one guy who “saw” a giant image of Jesus, but he had apparently been reading the Bible while high as a kite on LSD, and any visual experience while “under the influence” is not credible.

  • Shannon1981

    My respect to this soldier and condolences to his loved ones. He is a hero.

  • Jeffree

    @David Ehrenstein: Saying this man “wasted” his life shows that you have no respect for his human dignity, his family or his friends. No matter your stance on the war, you’re a vapid soul, a failed writer, and a heartless human being.

    Karma dictates that far worse things be said about you when you pass. And I will try to refrain from joining the chorus,

  • gomez

    “Believed to be the first gay Minnesota soldier to die in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars”

    According to whom? Unlikely, unreasonable, unsubstantiated and un-noteworthy.

  • gomez

    Clarification: saying he’s “the first gay Minnesotan” to die is un-noteworthy in itself. His death is noteworthy on its own. Every death over there is.

  • Mark (UK)

    Can I just say,I appreciate that this is a gay site. But someone’s sexuality bears no reference to how that person performs/performed in the military. I really can’t see why, in this modern age, why people can’t join the military; regardless of their bed partner. Who a person is in love with, doesn’t mean they are any less a soldier, marine, sailor, pilot (you get where I am going with this)……………

    I worked in the police, I have worked along side some openly gay people and closeted gay people and I have worked with some straight officers. Each orientation has their good, bad and ugly! I had no problems with showering, changing with any of them – can’t see what difference that would make in the military either!

    People need to accept people – not their sexual orientation – that doesn’t make or break the person, it’s their loving side!!!!!

  • Jeffree

    @Mark(UK): Because the repeal of DADT hasn’t been fully implemented, gay/lesbian/bi service members have been discharged solely due to their sexual orientation. That’s why it’s newsworthy and noteworthy when a LGB person risks and loses their life in service to a country which still discriminates against us.

    Once LGB people are fully integrated within the military and cannot be thrown out because of their sexual orientation, this will no longer be a hot topic.

  • Chris

    @Oprah: Most Atheist are the ones who fight for your rights. They are the scientist who proved that being gay is not a mental illness, and if not for them you wouldn’t even have the technology to write your drivel.

  • Rob

    God bless him and thanks for his service!

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Oprah: I’m not the one declaring Muslims “the worst.” It’s the Rethuglicans.

    As for gays-in-the-military, why would anyone want to fight for the oil companies? That’s ALL that it’s about, keeping oil company profits up and slaughtering third world peasants.

    Why should any thinking person regard this as a noble calling?

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Oprah: Anyone who claims to “fear” a Big Invisible Bi-Polar Daddy Who Lives in the Sky is delusional.

  • justiceontherocks

    @David Ehrenstein: A tired old queen who is pissed off because everyone doesn’t accept his myopic world view and who thinks he is the sole judge of the value of a person’s life has no right to call anyone else delusional.

  • Patrick Garies

    @Atheism is prejudice too:

    Prove my assertion wrong with facts, logic and reason, if you can.

    To me, atheism is an ideology that suggests that you need to provide extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims. Since religion is inherently a source of such claims, religion is an obvious target for criticism. So, yes, there is a prejudice there, but I don’t see the problem; demanding evidence and logical consistency and criticizing people that don’t provide it is not bigotry.

    @Atheism is prejudice too:

    As you have demonstrated in your own post, atheists on line use all of the same arguments and tactics that homophobes and racists and other bigots use.

    I’m an atheist. To which distasteful tactics are you referring? I’d be happy to put an end to them if I knew what they were.

    @Atheism is prejudice too:

    […] atheism is the rejection of the experiences of most of humanity – the assumption that those people are just intrinsically wrong about their own experiences.

    Merely claiming that you experienced something is not evidence. I dare you to recount an experience of which you speak and explain why it can only be attributable to a supernatural deity and (even better) the one that you happen to believe in.

    Further, having many people believe something is not evidence. It should be obvious that there’s something wrong with your line of argument when we have three major religions with millions of practitioners yet each religion has elements that make the others false. They can’t all be right, but, according to your logic, they are on numbers alone.

  • Jeff Wilfahrt

    To all;
    I am Jeff Wilfahrt, Andrew’s father. I would like to share what Martha, Andrew’s sister state last week.
    “…of all Andrew’s qualities, being gay was the least interesting!”
    As a father I tell you she is spot on. His sexuality was never an issue to any of us, his mother, his sister, his brother or myself.
    To me personally he was my confidant and I have lost that. Any parent worth their salt anticipates their child will exceed them in all facets of life. My son did, he was my hero, and that is not to the exclusion of the other two who are remarkable in their own rights.
    This family embraces all decent humans, we have no lines.

  • Atheism is prejudice too


    “Most Atheist are the ones who fight for your rights.”
    Actually, most of the effort to end prejudice against GLBTQ people has come from people of faith. Atheists organizations are remarkably silent on the issue, and online, atheists proclaim anti-gay theology as stridently, and often more so, than homophobes do.

    “They are the scientist ”

    Many scientists are people of faith, just as many GLBTQ people are people of faith.

    Patrick Garies wrote:

    “To me, atheism is an ideology that suggests that you need to provide extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims. Since religion is inherently a source of such claims, religion is an obvious target for criticism. So, yes, there is a prejudice there, but I don’t see the problem; demanding evidence and logical consistency and criticizing people that don’t provide it is not bigotry.”

    Of course, the above statement is not based on facts, logic or reason. Atheism is no such thing.

    In reality, atheism itself make multiple extraordinary claims, from the claim that God does not exist – which requires knowing absolutely everything about the entire universe and anything and everything beyond the universe, to proclaiming that 99% of humanity is wrong about its own experiences, and always has been for as long as humans have been leaving records.

    Atheism has no evidence whatsoever, but dismisses the experiential evidence of people of faith.

    “demanding evidence and logical consistency and criticizing people that don’t provide it”

    However, this is not what atheism does, and it is worth noting that atheists have to tell this lie instead of telling the truth.

    Atheism rejects the evidence that is presented – the experiences of most of humanity, in deference to the illogical, ego-produced theories of atheists.

    “I’m an atheist. To which distasteful tactics are you referring? I’d be happy to put an end to them if I knew what they were.”

    First is the abusive dismissal of people’s testimony about their own lives, and the standard characterization of people of faith as delusional, insane, ignorant, etc.

    Next, there’s the use of lies, distortions, misrepresentation, cherry-picking and out-right fraud that atheists use to define the religious beliefs of billions of people. This includes the common habit of applying the negative beliefs or behaviors of some individuals to all people of faith. This of course is something that homophobes do consistently, and racists, and misogynists, and other kinds of bigots.

    There’s also the dismissal and deliberate blindness to all of the positive contributions of people of faith. Homophobes have been doing this for years, of course, hiding either the sexuality of GLBTQ people who have made society better, or hiding the accomplishments of out GLBTQ people.

    There is much more, but that alone should keep you busy the rest of your life.

    “Merely claiming that you experienced something is not evidence.”

    And yet it is. Thank you for reminding of another moral and ethical failing implicit in atheism – the application of double standards.

    Do you know that all of science is based on experiencing something? That the word experiment shares its root and meaning with the word experience? Did you know that courts rely on people’s testimony of their experiences as evidence, and even such evidence as dna tests rely on the layers of experience?

    So tell the truth, what you mean is that when people of faith experience something it is not evidence, but when you or other atheists, or anyone experiencing something that you feel advances your argument experience something, than it is evidence.

    That is prejudice, and atheism is nothing other than a prejudice against people of faith that, for no rational reason, dismiss them and their experiences as worthless.

    “I dare you to recount an experience of which you speak and explain why it can only be attributable to a supernatural deity and (even better) the one that you happen to believe in.”

    Ah, yeah, I should subject myself to your penchant for ridicule and verbal abuse.

    The fact is that you were not present for any of my many experiences of God, and so the most you can do is dismiss them with some insulting and degrading assumption. I had the experience of God telling me, in words, that homosexuality is not a sin.

    While you may conjecture any sort of derogatory thing you like, it is simply conjecture, and you cannot come up with anything but derogatory conjecture to refute my experience.

    Now its it your turn. Describe, in detail, absolutely everything in the entire universe, specifically and individually, down to every single subatomic particle individually, and including all of the material universe that is so far away that light from it has not yet, nor ever will, reach earth, and prove that God does not exist or act in any way, ever, across all of time and space.

    Substantiate your claim with evidence, of course.

    Then describe with equal effort, exactly what does exist beyond the physical universe – outside of the ability of any instrument made of matter and energy to quantify or observe, so you can prove that God does not exist beyond this observable, tangible universe.

    In the meantime, I must point out that your own arguments mirror those use by homophobes – who demand that GLBTQ people prove that we did not chose our sexual orientation, who claim that we don’t really experience love, only lust, and so on.

    Atheism is simply an ugly prejudice, it is not based on facts or logic or reason.

  • Steve

    @Jeff Wilfahrt: If only all families (mine included) could be as loving and accepting as yours. Andrew seemed like a terrific man, and I’m very sorry for your loss.

    Also, is there a transcript or recording of your speech at his memorial service anywhere?

  • Harold

    @Jeff Wilfahrt: Thank you, Mr. Wilfahrt, for raising such a fine young man. My prayers are with you and yours.

  • Jack E. Jett

    @Jeff Wilfahrt: The relationship between a Father and Son is the most special of all. I lost my Dad over 25 years ago and I still mourn him and miss him.

    Mr. Wilfahrt, you sound like a really cool dad and your son was really lucky to have you as a confidant,pal and dad.

  • Soupy

    @Jeff: My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I hope that your memories provide solace.

    Now please, Cassandra, can you stop using this thread for your platform. In the name of taste.

  • Stanley

    @David Ehrenstein: I was going to keep quiet, but your repeated attacks about Cpl. Wilfahrt who gave his life for our country are inappropriate and insensitive.

    You don’t support our military. Fine. You believe the military is “fighting for oil companies.” You’re entitled to your view. If you want to create a hippie commune for yourself where the concept of God doesn’t exist, you make your own clothing, you use cow dung to create energy, and you eat on banana leaves, please go ahead.

    You’re just as extreme as the “Rethuglicans” — just extreme in the opposite direction.

    But most Americans (Democrats, Independents, & Republicans) support our military. If you don’t like the war in Afghanistan, feel free to become politically pro-active, join anti-war advocacy groups & contact your elected officials.

    But have the decency not to malign a young man who has lost his life. What’s ironic is that thousands upon thousands of people like Cpl. Wilfahrt have given their lives for your freedom to spew such hateful & ungrateful speech.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Stanley: He gave his life to the oil companies, not me or you.


  • justiceontherocks

    @Stanley: Ignore the tired old troll. It just encourages him when you respond. He’ll never understand why everyone in the world isn’t as miserable as he is.

    Come to think of it, he’s not much different than the people at the Westboro Baptist Church, is he?

  • Stanley

    @Jeff Wilfahrt:

    Dear Mr. Wilfahrt,

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your son, Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt. I also apologize for some of the rude posters on this blog who think this is an opportunity to share their political and/or religious views (or lack thereof).

    I can’t begin to imagine the pain that you are all experiencing right now. One of my former classmates from high school was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009. He was 22 years old. I attended his funeral. His mother later told me that the pain of losing her son, was the most excruciating pain she has ever experienced — worse than even labor pains.

    It’s great that you were all very accepting of his sexuality. Even though his “being gay was the least interesting” of his qualities, it does speak mountains of his character & patriotism that he volunteered to defend a country that would have been all too eager to discharge him if they found out who he really was.

    Hopefully, as we move into a post-“Don’t ask, Don’t tell” era, people will realize that sexual orientation is not a bar to patriotism & national service. It is difficult for people to be homophobic when they know that gay people too, have given their lives to this country.

    In a world where the news media focuses on crime & violence, and especially in the LGBT community where superficiality is often a virtue, we could truly use a few more heroes.

    Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt is definitely a hero.

    My thoughts & prayers are with you, Lori (Andrew’s mom), Martha (Andrew’s sister), Andrew’s brother, & the rest of the Wilfahrt family during this difficult time.

    God bless,


  • HD Gay Vid

    Why would somebody press the “LOL” and “Stupid” button ??? Jesus. My condolences to his family … :(

  • gio

    first i would like to say that i was honor to serve and fight this war next to andrew i served with him my whole army career since the day he joined the army he was such a wonderful person and someone who i admired i remember the day he said that he was gay and honestly i did not care because he did his job and respected us as his brothers yesturday we had a memorial in his honor here in afghanistan and i started to have flash backs of the wonderful things that we did together and at no time did i remember that he was gay because to me that did not matter i saw him as a brother and as a great person and that was it. i will always miss you andrew and i know that afghanistan has become a better place because of you. sweetdreams brother.

  • TikiHead

    @Atheism is prejudice too: LOL – in the words of Stephen Colbert, you have managed to weaponize irony!

  • Patrick Garies

    @Atheism is prejudice too: I read your post and I’m going to simply respond with the following because an inline reply to such a mess would be a royal pain:

    * You continue to assert that a large number of people believing something makes it true. This is a logical fallacy. Further, you try to use this to auto-validate religious experiences rather than trying to validate specific experiences to prove your point on their own merits.

    * Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you make the extraordinary claim that there is a Christian God and he wants such and such, its /your/ job to defend that. I didn’t make the claim.

    * You make straw man arguments; for example, you repeatedly insinuate that I assert that your Christian God cannot exist when I believe that there is no reason to believe that your Christian God exists. I never claimed that your Christian God couldn’t possibly exist. You use this as a vehicle to try to force me to defend against a losing position that you created and which I never subscribed to.

    * You imply that verifiable scientific experiments and filtered jury testimony that may be verifiable are equally as credible as unverifiable and unproven claims that supernatural events occurred. Not all testimony is equal.

    * You try to engage in guilt by false association tactics similar to those used by persons trying to associate LGBTs and pedophilia. Saying that atheists and homophobes are very similar while completely ignoring the strong religious link to homophobia is laughable.

    * You fail to make the distinction between “theists” and “theology”. Religion is an ideology. I do not consider attacks on an idea to be in the same league as attacks on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Further, I don’t consider them to be direct attacks on a person. Contrary to your apparent belief, religion is not an immutable trait.

    * You engage in rampant hypocrisy by making broad generalizations about atheism even as you complain about people making broad generalizations about religion. You even go so far as to say that people emphasize only the negative aspects of religion while you emphasize only the negative aspects of atheism. And for good measure, you act as the champion of all religions when you speak as a Christian; if you subscribe to generic Christian views, that alone is an implicit denial of other people’s incompatible religious beliefs. However, when I engage in denial of people’s religious beliefs, that’s some kind of “abuse” just because I do it equally?

    Need I go on?

    At this point I’m not even sure what we’re arguing toward. It seems that you basically want a one-way platform to paint all atheists as evil by engaging in all of the tactics that you attack them for while painting all theists as angels that should never have their beliefs criticized.

    As for your requests, I’m not going to honor them. Every single one of them asks me to address your straw man argument and demonstrates your ignorance about scientific principles. Simply because something cannot be disproven does not make it proven or credible. Using your standard, someone would have to physically examine every subatomic in the universe before they could come to the conclusion that there are no pink unicorns. Clearly that’s unreasonable and seems to indicate that reasoning with you is pointless.

    @HD Gay Vid: Ever heard of Fred Phelps?

  • tallskin2

    @Patrick Garies – brilliantly put!

  • Tanielu

    @David Ehrenstein: @No. 10 · David Ehrenstein, being gay is worse than being a Muslim? Really? Have you ever been Muslim? Do you even have basic knowledge of the religion? You may be Gay–maybe; and obvious even, but for you to make such an ignorant statement of “being gay is worse than being a Muslim,” surely you’ve outdone your own ignorance! Go educate yourself a little before making such dreadful comments. Rediculous!!!

    And if you knew anything about the military crap going on in the middle east, you would be blaming the United States government, rather than verbally bashing a wholehearted person that has given his life for ungrateful people like you.

  • Sasha

    Why are people talking about their own religious beliefs, this is not about you!

    Thank you soldier, for everything you have done for this country. You are a true hero.

  • Tom

    @David Ehrenstein: You know what’s a waste of life? When selfish, slore guys like you spend their entire adult lives getting wasted in clubs every weekend while hooking up with anything that has a pulse and contributing to the ever growing STD/HIV stats in the gay community. You live in safety and stability thanks to the U.S. military projecting its power and fighting in regions from where groups wish to bring violence and chaos to our streets.

    This Soldier chose a path in life that few dare to take, that few dare to sacrifice so much in their lives for–a path in life that leaves behind great contribution to society, to his country’s security and stability, to the Afghan people that he was there to help, to defend from Taliban’s savagery, and to help rebuild their communities.

    Corporal Wilfahrt knew the dangers of his mission, and I’m positive that he was content with his life as a Soldier serving his country in Afghanistan but also helping the Afghan people for whom life has improved thanks to NATO’s efforts to stabilize that sorry nation.

  • Patrick Garies

    @Tanielu: I’m guessing that David’s comment that “being gay is worse than being a Muslim” was not meant literally. It seems to be more suggestive of the point that discussion about gay people is more likely to meet with a negative response than discussion about Muslims, which are also oft-viewed negatively, to the point where media organizations simply avoid the discussion altogether in a form of self-censorship. If that’s what was meant, I’d consider it a valid point, though not necessarily what happened in the case of Andrew (per Oprah’s comment #8); they could have just been doing a generic roll call of local casualties.

    @Sasha: Someone made a comment and I replied to it. Side discussions would less problematic if Queerty used a threaded commenting system like, for example, The Huffington Post. That way, you can easily ignore threads that you’re not interested in or which have gone off-topic. Unfortunately, Queerty doesn’t, so we have to rely on a mess of hard-to-follow “@name”-style replies like this one.

  • Marty Miller

    Honor this hero. Pray for him if you pray. Remember him. Do something charitable in his name or in his honor. He fought and died in a foreign land where gays heads are chopped off or worse to protect us. Thank you for sacrificing your life for us Andy.

  • Jeff Wilfahrt

    @Oprah: Oprah, because we, his family were in Dover receiving his remains to U.S. soil. When we returned our door was stuffed with notes from local media personalities. In their rush to have something on the evening news, they didn’t have the common decency to wait for any facts. They’d have talked to the squirrels in the trees to make up a story, but then the squirrels knew they were nuts of an inferior variety.
    Jeff, Andrew’s father

  • Jeff Wilfahrt

    @Steve: Steve, no recording to my knowledge. At his reception I attempted, probably failed, to say that we raised our children to believe the heart always points true north. That people should read “One hoss shay” by Wendell Holmes, to see where logic alone can take you and that each day you should look for the ever present opportunity to do something good for your fellow human. Our motto is simply “everyone does better when everyone does better”, it ain’t that hard to figure out.
    Jeff, Andrew’s father

  • Jeff Wilfahrt

    @David Ehrenstein: David, that is your point of view. As his father I tell you are being parochial, open up your heart and mind. Life is a mosaic, to see one thing alone is not healthy for your mind.
    Jeff, Andrew’s father

  • ewe

    I happen to care that this man was a homosexual. I also think that sexual orientation is by no means the least interesting thing about myself. Having said all that, my condolences to those who were closest to him.

  • Mary W. Black

    @Jeff Wilfahrt: As a mother who has lost a son my heart goes out to you and Lori and Jeff’s brother and sister and his many loved ones. My eldest son in Minnesota/Wisconsin brought this tragedy to my attention this morning. He has friends in Hawaii who knew your son. My eldest is proudly gay and was once a Marine. You are correct, that our children are gay is not who they are but merely their sexuality. From all I have read and heard your son was the most remarkable young man who chose military service for noble reasons and politics and personal agendas aside his death is a tragedy from which your family will never recover. That he chose to fight and and also be an activist is so commendable because he was being pro-active and not sitting around spouting off and doing nothing of substance. Please know there are is so much love and gifts of silent strength coming your way from strangers around the world who grieve with you. I am one of those. Mary W. Black, Flagstaff, Arizona.

  • Touchstone

    First and most important i send love to the family for their loss. But as I 
    Began reading the commments I began to feel saddened by the disheartening 
    Comments and how this became an issue that took on a bickering session for
    Those who obviously don’t know how to stay on task. I would like to have read about 
    How people who have met Andrew speak out to who he was
    Instead we got a platform for political ideology. 
    So let me set the record “straight”  if you will.
    Andrew chose to serve our nation like so many do and the 
    Bigotry that is perceived is mostly subjective when it comes to 
    Serving in our nations armed forces. When I served I never felt threatened
    Of course I never went active so I am not the best to speak about what it was 
    Like on the active side neither can I speak to all branches. It is not uncommon for someone to 
    Switch service to another branch though insite from someone who has would be nice to hear. 
    So if your thinking what is my point ???? Think about this unless you have served 
    Your statements regarding the military lack conviction and integrity. 
    He served like so many do because he loved this country.
    But he died being a part of something greater than any magazine, corporation or civilian 
    Can possibly understand and the stupidity of those taking this thread to an area remeniscint of a 
    Jersey Shore episode, goes to show how easily people are influenced by ignorance. Or more clearly stated 
    Get a life!  
    To those who knew him personally for the most part it sounds like he was out. But in the military “family” he was our brother, and with honor he served. We must rebuke
    Civil frameworks that would corrupt his service as any more or less significant than that of someone still serving. I think he would like us to  honor him with same respect as any other soldier, reach out to his family and If he had a partner  show the same love to him as we would have if that partner were of the opposite sex. The saddest part is that what he fought and died for are the freedoms that are inherent to anyone anywhere who wishes to live in America but if had wanted to get married at some point even  with his time  in service, american theology would spend millions to prevent  this as a result  still not granting him equal opportunity  or access to most of americas rights and civil service benefits for his partner,,,,….  But if I was Muslim, Jew, Christian seeking citizenship I could move to the us join the  military  and in two years i can vote against Gay Marriage on the grounds that Allah , Christ, god 
    Said so and this one vote would cancel my vote. This is not saying that all immigrants are against homosexuals I have lots of spiritual friends from a variety of theological beliefs  who support me and my efforts to make this a better nation but they can not do it alone. If you want to honor and give thanks to his service, take a stand and don’t be afraid of getting messy this is in line with who he was. No Fear! Know fear! And just say NO FEAR!  Stand up! Be heard! But 
    Do it for the benefit of nation so that freedom prevails for all races including ours the Homosexual race.
    This is honoring his service, this is honoring his life, this is honor!

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