Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Bereaved parents of gay soldier speak out
From News Releases, posted March 31, 2011
2011-04-06

This article shared 5562 times since Wed Apr 6, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In a new video, bereaved parents talk about Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt, "A Soldier's Soldier"

OutServe Press Release:

WASHINGTON, DC,: As the military prepares to certify and implement repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, OutServe, the underground network of over 2,900 active LGBT military personnel, and Courage Campaign, a 750,000 member progressive organizing network today released a new video from the parents of US Army Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay soldier killed in combat last month in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

In the video, which includes footage of Wilfahrt's remains returning to Dover Air Force Base, his parents describe what drove their son to join the military and how he was viewed by his peers and commanding officers.

View the Full Video: www.couragecampaign.com/andrewwilfahrt or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=220hCk1Omw0&feature=player_embedded

"He [ Andrew ] thought he'd go, so someone else with family and children wouldn't have to go," said Corporal Wilfahrt's father Jeff. "His aptitude tests were off the charts…he was a soldiers' soldier and all of his commanders were struck by him."

"The stories we've heard from people in his unit indicate that he kept some people calm when things got rough," added Corporal Wilfahrt's mother Lori. "People in his unit knew he was gay…and they didn't care."

To date, nearly 6,000 Americans have been killed in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to Corporal Wilfahrt, at least three LGBT soldiers have died in combat since "Don't Ask Don't Tell's" conditional repeal was signed into law on December 22, 2010.

"Corporal Wilfahrt epitomized the courage, dedication and selflessness that gay and straight troops alike have shown in battle since our nation's founding," said Jonathan Hopkins, OutServe spokesperson and gay combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Ultimately Corporal Wilfahrt's story is not about differences or politics, but the values that unite all who wear the proud uniform of our nation—loyalty to each other, love of country, and the willingness to give their lives in its defense."

The Wilfahrt video will be featured on the Courage Campaign's "Testimony" website. Testimony is a one-of-a-kind online tool featuring stories, images, and videos of LGBT families across the country, as well as their friends and allies.

"We are so grateful to the Wilfahrts for their service to our country and for sharing their powerful story," said Courage Campaign Chairman and Founder Rick Jacobs. "While Andrew's loss leaves a void in his unit and family, we all honor his legacy by ensuring the nation for which Corporal Wilfahrt made the ultimate sacrifice lives up to its highest ideals—to include full equality for LGBT Americans, both inside and outside of the military."

OutServe is an underground network of actively serving members of the United States Armed Services who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The organization is led by an active-duty member who goes by the pseudonym of JD Smith and civilian Co-Director Ty Walrod. For more information, visit www.outserve.org .

Courage Campaign is a multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to work for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. Last year, the Courage Campaign mobilized nearly 700,000 petition signatories from all 50 states and around the world advocating DADT Repeal--including more than 12,500 veterans and military families. Through a one-of-a-kind online tool called Testimony: Take A Stand, the Courage Campaign is chronicling the sights, sounds and stories of LGBT families and all who wage a daily struggle against discrimination across America. For more information about Testimony, please visit, http://www.couragecampaign.org/testimony.

Statement by Jonathan Hopkins, OutServe Washington, D.C. Spokesperson, Member of the Board:

When I was an Infantry Company Commander, nothing struck me more deeply than seeing what one Soldier would do for another brother or sister in arms. The sacrifices they would make for each other's lives at the risk of their own serve as a constant reminder of the depth with which they care for one another. Ultimately, this mutual sacrifice is what drives good military organizations—a type of sacrifice that knows no gender, ethnicity, or orientation.

Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt lived for his comrades in arms, and as a result of a roadside bomb on February 27th, 2011, he also died for them. It did not matter to those around him in uniform that he was gay, nor did it matter to his parents. He was a Soldier. But due to a law made years ago and thousands of miles away, he had to choose between a military life and a personal life in a way few others did. His military experience is representative of the tens of thousands of gay, lesbian, or bisexual men and women who have served our country, as well as the scores who have died for it.

Please take a moment to view this video [ AT THE LINK BELOW ] in which Andrew's parents eloquently discuss what this gifted young man contributed

www.youtube.com/watch?v=220hCk1Omw0&utm_source=OutServe&utm_campaign=615aa152af-Corporal_Andrew_Wilfahrt&utm_medium=email

Soon, others like Corporal Wilfahrt will be able to serve without having to segregate the two things that matter most to them—the organization they steadfastly serve from those they deeply love. In an institution that craves standards, the double standard required by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be forever gone — replaced by one common military standard: an expectation placed on everyone to serve honorably, professionally, and capably, demonstrating mutual respect for one another.

I hope you find yourself as thankful that we have such caring and capable people serving our country, as you are that in short order, they will no longer have to sacrifice part of their lives in order to serve. That day is nearly here.

Jonathan Hopkins

OutServe Washington, D.C. Spokesperson

Member of the Board


This article shared 5562 times since Wed Apr 6, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VA to offer surgery to transgender vets for the first time 2021-06-20
- U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Denis McDonough announced that officials, for the first time, will offer surgeries for transgender veterans seeking to transition, Military Times reported. The move follows ...


Gay News

Pritzker Military Museum to hold panel on Department of Defense and transgender employees 2021-06-10
--From a press release - CHICAGO, June 8, 2021 — The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is proud to present a panel discussion, "Exploring the Intersection of the U.S. Military and the LGBTQ Community," on Wednesday, June 23rd at Noon CDT ...


Gay News

Pritzker Military Museum hosting June 23 Pride panel 2021-06-09
- Chicago's Pritzker Military Museum & Library is presenting a panel discussion, "Exploring the Intersection of the U.S. Military and the LGBTQ Community," on Wed., June 23, at noon CT in celebration of Pride Month. The virtual ...


Gay News

Chicago LGBT veterans honor the fallen on Memorial Day 2021-05-31
- The Chicago Chapter of the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) honored the fallen on Memorial Day with flowers at the granite monument on Halsted Street and Addison which honors LGBTQ veterans. The monument was commissioned ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Military bill, LGBTQ teen, trans deaths, Pride items, children's book 2021-05-09
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that directs the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs in the Garden State to assist former Armed Forces service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to ...


Gay News

Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks Foundation Military Appreciation Night May 1 2021-04-30
--From a press release - The Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, in partnership with USO Illinois and Boeing, will kick off May's National Military Appreciation Month with the team's Military Appreciation Night game on Saturday, May 1 as the ...


Gay News

Pentagon reverses Trump-era ban on trans military service, GLAAD responds 2021-03-31
--From a GLAAD press release - New York, NY - Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, celebrates news that the Pentagon will issue ...


Gay News

Modern Military Association of America names executive director 2021-02-09
--From a press release - MMAA is pleased to announce that the board of directors has selected Jennifer Dane as executive director. Jennifer is a U.S. Air Force veteran and has served as the organization's interim executive director since February 2020. ...


Gay News

MMAA condemns Cong. Marjorie Taylor Greene's 'Hate American Flags' statement 2021-02-01
--From a Modern Military Association of America press release - WASHINGTON — Tonight, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) — the nation's largest LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit organization — condemns Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene's statement on 'hate Ameri ...


Gay News

Biden's repeal of trans military ban impacts over 15,500 adults in the military 2021-01-25
--From a Williams Institute press release - A summary of current data on transgender military service in U.S. Today, President Biden signed an executive order ending the ban on transgender military service. The directive instructs the Department of Defense to reinstate the 2016 ...


Gay News

LGBTQA+ organizations praise Biden's lift of trans military ban 2021-01-25
- After President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 25 lifting former President Donald Trump's ban on transgender individuals being in the military, several LGBTQA+ groups and individuals issued press releases praising the move: —LGBTQ ...


Gay News

Research on military trans ban shows urgency of Biden acting on pledge 2021-01-14
--From a press release by The Palm Center - President-elect Joseph Biden has promised to reverse the military's ban on service by transgender Americans on "day one" of his presidency. Research recently released by the Palm Center explains why lifting the ban is an urgent ...


Gay News

New reports from Palm Center look at military transgender ban, Biden's position 2021-01-01
—From a press release - President-elect Joseph Biden has promised to reverse the military's ban on service by transgender Americans on "day one" of his presidency. Research recently released by the Palm Center explains why lifting the ban is an urgent ...


Gay News

New study: Military transgender ban hurts readiness 2020-11-23
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A new study has found that the current ban on military service by transgender Americans has harmed the armed forces, contradicting claims by the Trump administration that the ban was needed to ...


Gay News

WORLD Taiwan marriages, Nigeria court, protests, GQ Awards 2020-11-02
- Two women became the first military officers to marry their same-sex civilian partners at a mass military wedding in Taiwan—marking another landmark for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, CNN.com reported. The island's defense ministry called it an ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.