After learning that Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach is facing separation from the US Air Force under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a representative from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network called the discharge “an utter waste of talent.”
“The Colonel has a sterling combat record, does a fantastic job for his country every day and has all the medals and job performance evaluations to prove it,” continued Aubrey Sarvis, SLDN executive director. “He did not disrupt unit cohesion or good order. But the bottom line is he’s gay, so he’s out.”
Fehrenbach served in Afghanistan and Iraq, flying the longest combat sorties in his squadron’s history, destroying Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. And after the Sept. 11 attacks, Fehrenbach was assigned to protect the airspace over Washington, D.C.
Some are urging President Obama to issue an executive order under his national security umbrella to put a moratorium on DADT.
“We need a real, lasting fix for our service members. Congress owns DADT and only they can repeal it,” Sarvis continued. “What we need is Congress and this new President to engage each other immediately and with a sense of urgency to stop this madness.”
Fehrenbach’s discharge follows the release of Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq veteran and Arabic linguist who came out as a gay man on a recent episode of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Nearly 13,000 gay and lesbian servicemembers have been kicked out of the military since 1994 when DADT was instituted. – by Nancy Ford