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Posted by themartyred in General Discussion
Fri Jul 08th 2011, 06:26 PM


(Photo caption - The body of Andrew Wilfahrt Ė the first openly gay US soldier to die in combat since Donít Ask, Donít Tell was repealed Ė is returned to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, in February. Photograph: Jose Luis Magana/AP)

On Sunday, Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt will travel to Hawaii to join other US military families welcoming back the third platoon of the 552nd military police company from Afghanistan. For the Wilfahrts, the unit's return from its deployment near Kandahar will be a sad and poignant occasion.

Their son Andrew Wilfahrt, a member of the unit, was the first openly gay US soldier to die in combat since Barack Obama repealed the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in December last year. Two months after homosexuals were officially allowed to serve, Wilfahrts was killed when an improvised device exploded under a bridge in Afghanistan.

"Even though we are acclimatised to his absence now," his father Jeff Wilfahrt told the Guardian, "it will still tear our hearts out."

Andrew Wilfahrt's story is an extraordinary one. Despite coming out to his parents at 16 and campaigning for gay rights at his high school, he decided he wanted to join the army when he was 29. He told a friend he wanted to join up so that a soldier with a wife and family would not have to.

More - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/0...

Also - Army to suspend DADT releases - http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/army-s...
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