mission accomplished

Maj. Alan Rogers, First Known Gay Afghanistan Casualty, Had a Graveside DADT Party

Well this is pretty bittersweet: Army Maj. Alan Rogers, the first known openly gay soldier to die while on duty in Afghanistan, was honored by friends on Saturday at his grave in Arlington National Cemetery, commemorating the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Rogers, who died in January 2008 when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb, was the subject of a letter read aloud on the chamber floor in February by Virgina’s Rep. Jim Moran, which was written by a comrade who “learned that a fellow soldier was also gay, only after he was killed by an IED in Iraq. The partner of the deceased soldier wrote the unit to say how much the victim had loved the military; how they were the only family he had ever known.”

On Saturday, friends or Rogers laid a rainbow lei, flowers, and a Christmas wreath at his grave. Read one note left beside his tombstone: “Alan, we did it.”

[photos: NYDN]