On February 24, 2010, Congressman Jim Moran read an emotional letter on the floor of the House of Representatives.
It was from a gay serviceman whose unit had lost one of their comrades in an IED attack, and later learned he was gay.
The revelation came when the partner of the deceased gay soldier had written the unit to say how much the victim loved the military and that they were the only family he had ever known.
The very first publicly-known case of a gay soldier being killed in the Middle East was Army Major Alan Rogers, who died while on patrol in Iraq in January of 2008.
The very nature of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy makes the total number of gay service members unknown. Statisticians, however, estimate that more than 200 gay and lesbian service members have been killed.
The Rainbow Minute is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and airs on 97.3 FM, WRIR Richmond Independent Radio, every Weekday at 7:59 a.m, 12:29 p.m. and 4:59 p.m. Listen to the WRIR’s audio stream here.
Tens of thousands of gay servicemembers have been kicked out of the U.S. military both before and after the adoption of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And with the U.S. Senate’s December, 2010 vote to repeal that policy, it is fitting we remember the very first discharged – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin. It all [...]