Congressman Jim Moran read a letter on the floor of the House on Wednesday from a soldier stationed in Afghanistan about his gay colleague.
The soldier contacted Moran in response to a call for more information about the effects of the Pentagon's study of "don't ask, don't tell," according to the Palm Center.
The soldier who wrote the letter had only learned about the other soldier's sexual orientation after he was killed by an IED in Iraq, according to the report. "The partner of the deceased soldier wrote the unit to say how much he enjoyed military life, and how his unit was the only family he had ever known."
The unnamed soldier is the second known gay military member to die while stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The first was U.S. Army major Alan Rogers, who died on patrol in Iraq in 2008. However, an estimated 200 other gay and lesbian service members have died while overseas.