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SLDN: Active-Duty Combat Aviator Booted from Military

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has learned that Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach was recently notified he will be separated from the US Air Force under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

May 19, 2009

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Active-Duty Combat Aviator Booted from Military
Soon to Lose Career and Millions in Retirement under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

WASHINGTON, DC - The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has learned that Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach was recently notified he will be separated from the US Air Force under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Fehrenbach served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He flew the longest combat sorties in his squadron's history, destroying Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. And after the Sept. 11 attacks, Fehrenbach was hand-picked to protect the airspace over Washington, D.C.

"What an utter waste of talent," said Aubrey Sarvis, SLDN Executive Director. "The Colonel has a sterling combat record, does a fantastic job for his country every day and has all the medals and job performance evaluations to prove it. He did not disrupt unit cohesion or good order. But the bottom line is he's gay, so he's out."

Some are urging President Obama to issue an executive order under his national security umbrella to put a moratorium on DADT.

"If SLDN thought that would work on all fronts, for all service members, we would be all for it. We need a real, lasting fix for our service members. Congress owns DADT and only they can repeal it," Sarvis said. "What we need is Congress and this new President to engage each other immediately and with a sense of urgency to stop this madness."

SLDN has developed a discharge ticker that tracks how many service members have been fired under DADT since President Obama and Congress were sworn in earlier this year.

Lieutenant Colonel Fehrenbach's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, nine Air Medals (including one for Heroism), the Aerial Achievement Medal, five Air Force Commendation Medals and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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