Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach writes about his new sense of pride in this morning's Huffington Post.
Fehrenbach, of Mountain Home Air Force Base, recounts his 20 years of service, during which he was deployed six times as a weapons system officer. He flew combat missions over Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. But in 2008, he was accused of violating the military's ban on homosexuality and placed on desk duty. His military career hung in the balance.
"But all the while, I had to keep a secret that could mean the end of a career that I loved," wrote Fehrenbach.
And now, the decorated aviator breathes easier as the policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell has formally been eliminated.
"Today, I find relief and closure as I take a step back to remember all of the gay and lesbian soldiers who currently serve, have served, or have tragically lost their lives fighting for the freedoms this country's established," wrote Fehrenbach. "Their service is legitimate and they will no longer serve in vain. Today, gay service members will do their duty with their honor, dignity, and integrity intact. It is truly a proud day!"