Patricia Kutteles, mother of slain soldier Barry Winchell, was scheduled to appear at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to oppose President Bush's nomination of Maj. Gen. Robert T. Clark to lieutenant general, according to a press release from military watchdog group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Clark is the former commanding general at Fort Campbell, Ky., where Winchell was murdered in 1999 by fellow soldiers who believed he was gay.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), has scheduled a closed-door session for Wednesday afternoon to consider the nomination. Clark will appear before the committee to defend his nomination. However, the committee has not invited Patricia Kutteles or SLDN to submit testimony.
"Though the senators inside this hearing have refused to allow me to testify, I am here to tell them this: Major General Clark does not have much to defend," Kutteles said. "I am in Washington today to defend the legacy of my son and to defend the dignity of every mother's child from the forces that seek to divide our nation and harm our children."