Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach—a highly decorated Air Force pilot whose service record includes dozens of combat missions in danger zones like Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo— is believed to be the highest-ranking officer caught in the idiocy of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
Falsely accused of rape by another man in 2008, Fehrenbach’s only hope of defending himself was to explain how the encounter was consensual. He was cleared by police, but the Air Force discharged him under DADT.
Fehrenbach’s appeal was still pending when the ban lifted today, meaning he is now free to retire with his pension. “This definitely took a toll on me, and it made me question some leadership,” he told ABC News. “…I’m just ready to move on. After being in the closet that long, it’s more of a personal decision to move on with other things in life.”