Victor Fehrenbach's Sister on DADT

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 27 2010 10:10 AM ET

I recently took the opportunity to ask my brother who he would like us
to notify in the event of an emergency or upon his death, after I
realized he had no one else to confide in. Most soldiers and airmen
have a support system in place, where their spouses or immediate family
members are aware of their dying wishes and will share urgent news or
handle the appropriate notifications with those closest to their loved
one. In my brother’s case, I just figured the military would let us
know if something happened to him and that no one else aside from his
family members needed to be notified, since he was single and has no
children.

Under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the Fehrenbach family has
been robbed of truly knowing and loving our brother for who he is for
nearly two decades. He chose to serve in silence to protect his own
family — the only family he can legally call his own — from potential
exposure to investigation under DADT. We can never get those years
back. Nor can we accept the damage to and destruction of our family’s
long-standing military history that will result from Lt. Col.
Fehrenbach’s discharge under this discriminatory and unjust law. Our
family legacy goes back generations, in which our father, mother,
grandfathers, spouses, children, uncles and cousins have all answered
the call to serve.

Despite all the suffering that 
“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has caused my brother and our family, we have reaped a benefit far
greater than words can measure. Since I’ve come to know and
understand my brother’s true identity, and because he no longer has to
hide any part of himself from me, our relationship has become much
closer and deeper, where we laugh and share more than ever before. Vic
can now be completely open and honest with me — an element that was
clearly missing in our lives and relationship in the past. I can’t
express the immense pleasure I’ve experienced in getting to know my baby
brother — “Uncle Baldy” as some of our 17 nieces and nephews call
him.

In light of the infinite family gains that the repeal of
“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” will yield, I sincerely believe that allowing
open service is necessary, right, and just in every sense. Each and
every service member deserves the FULL love and support of their family
and friends, without fear of persecution, discrimination and harassment.
A strong sense of support and love is essential for our troops at all
times. It only stands to reason that overall military performance is
enhanced and the resolve to accomplish the mission is strengthened by
complete and unhindered family bonds.

Sincerely,

Angela Trumbauer

CC: U.S. Sen. Carl M. Levin
Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee

U.S. Sen. John S. McCain
Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman
Member, Senate Armed Services Committee 


















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