Victor Fehrenbach bought this to our attention, and though at times hard to read, we think it is yet another brilliant example of why “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” needs to be repealed at the upcoming Senate vote.
Pat and Wally Kutteles are the parents of Pfc. Barry Winchell, who was murdered 11 years ago at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The couple has tirelessly advocated to end DADT since their son’s horrific death, and today were featured in an Op-Ed at CNN.com.
“Barry's death was—and remains—a heart-wrenching tragedy for us. In the days and months afterward, we were comforted by the hundreds of letters and e-mails we received. Many of the authors were gay service members. We realized that our son was not alone in the torture he endured. We realized that "don't ask, don't tell" essentially makes it impossible for gays or those, like Barry, who are perceived to be gay, to seek the help of their superiors without risking investigation and discharge.
Since then, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that Barry did not die in vain. We have spoken around the country, advocating tirelessly for repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell." That is because DADT amounts to an endorsement of harassment and discrimination. It says to other service members that gays in the military are second-class citizens, that they are not worthy of the respect dictated in the Army's values. Those who assert that the law serves to protect gays in the military are wrong—it corroborates the fears and bigotry of those who are anti-gay. Worse, it encourages those who are prone to violence to act on their rage.”
You can read (and please do!) the whole commentary here. And more importantly, take the time to be sure your senators plan to vote in favor of a repeal.