When U.S. Army Major Alan Rogers died in 2008 on patrol in Iraq, neither the media nor the Army made much an effort to acknowledge he was gay. (In fact, you could say they both worked to make sure nobody knew it.) But with the sad news that the military lost another brave gay man, in Afghanistan, it’s going on record. The federal record.
Virginia’s “Congressman Jim Moran read a letter on the floor of the House of Representatives today from an active duty soldier in Afghanistan,” relays the Palm Center. “Congressman Moran stated that the soldier had, ‘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.’ The soldier originally provided the letter in response to an inquiry for the Pentagon’s current study of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”
It’s unclear whether the identity of this soldier is being intentionally guarded, but it’s a sad day all around. Thanks to all our men and women, gay or otherwise, serving aboard and in harm’s way. We wish you all a safe journey home.