Mountain Home Airman Awaits Fate, While Federal Judge Shoots Down "Don't Ask, Don't Telll"

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Mountain Home AFB Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach and his attorneys are keeping a close eye on a ruling handed down Tuesday that shuts down the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips issued a worldwide injunction stoppng enforcement of the policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. U.S. Dept. of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal.

In 2008, Fehrenbach was accused of vilolating the ban and placed on desk duty at Mountain Home Air Force Base. Within weeks, a charge of sexual assault was dismissed for lack of evidence. But by then, the Air Force had begun a new file, investigating the decorated flight officer's sexuality. In August, Fehrenbach's lawyers filed papers in Boise, saying that a discharge would violate the airman's rights and cause him irreparable harm.

President Obama has called for an end to the ban, and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff agreed that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy should be halted.

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