Gay Soldier Dies in Afghanistan
News Commentary by Norm Kent
In a media world consumed by Charlie Sheen, CNN’s Wayne Drash recently paid tribute to a soldier killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on February 27, while on foot patrol.
The soldier, from Rosemount, Minnesota, was Andrew Wilfahrt, 31-years-old, and a Renaissanance man with an infectious laugh. He was also a gay man, perhaps the first gay soldier killed since the legislative removal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban.
While America’s media magnates drive the madness of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan to the front pages, the Andrew Wilfahrts get quietly buried in small hometowns, fighting and dying in a war which should have ended long ago.
“In his obituary,” writes Drash on his blog, “his parents described him as ‘compassionate, smart and witty… an admirer, composer and player of music who believed deeply in art and humanity.’”
“He didn’t have a child and a wife,” Jeff Wilfahrt said. “In a way, he went over so that somebody with a young family wouldn’t die.”
The grieving father added, “He was a gay soldier.”
“Andrew told me one of the reasons he wanted to enlist was that he felt guilty as a civilian when so many men with wives and children were separated from their families,” one of his comrades posted on Facebook.
“He joined the fight so that guys like me didn’t have to. He is my hero, my friend, and I miss him. Sleep well, buddy. You earned it.”
The story and blog by Wayne Drash, which is much longer, is compelling and we have posted it on the SFGN website at www.sfgn.com/soldierkilled