Maddow: Lt Col Fehrenbach update (6-23)

Another missing post

Lt Choi/Lt Col Fehrenbach/DADT/posts/interviews

June 24, 2009

Rachel Maddow gets an update from Lt Col Victor Fehrenbach. He was on her show a month ago and it was the first time his coworkers found out about anything. He said only 10 people had known and they were all involved in the case. He has gotten universal support at work and remains hopeful that barry will keep his word.

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Lt Col FEHRENBACH: Surprisingly, there’s been absolutely no change at work.

First day back there was a squadron meeting with the Commander who made mention of  Lt Col Fehrenbach’s appearance “media event”.

Lt Col FEHRENBACH:

[The Commander said] ‘Everyone in the squadron is a valued member of the team [aka inconsistent with good order conduct and morale] and no one should be treated differently, and that everyone should go about their business and execute the mission.’

And my squadron has done just that the last month. It says alot about their professionalism and dedication as well as the professionalism of dedication of everyone in the military. It just shows that this policy is antiquated and needs to go.

Can the entire military handle it?

Military people are professionals — they’re dedicated to the misssion and they get the job done.

I don’t think this is unique to me at all. We prove on a daily basis that we now have an openly gay person serving in our squadron and our squadron didn’t fall apart – people didn’t quit. They’re doing the mission  – as well as the entire fighter wing. Everyone has gone about their business.

Maddow reads a comment posted on Atlantic Monthly written by a 26 year active duty Master Sargeant who was supervised by Lt Col Fehrenbach. He described himself as an “unwavering Christian Conservative” and said Fehrenbach was “one of the best supervisors [he] has ever known” and that Fehrenbach’s “service to his country should never be overlooked because of who he loves or what he does outside of duty“. That he “supports Lt Col Fehrenbach 100%” and that he “will pray our institution will make the right decision to allow him to continue to serve with honor and dignity”.

Fehrenbach says he’s received thousands of messages of support – family, friends, strangers and coworkers. And aviators he’s flown in combat with who said “Dude, I’ll go to war with you tomorrow.”

It takes about 5 months after the board recommends discharge till it passes through to the Secretary of the Air Force and the final disposition made. Watch his face (5:20) when he says he could “still be saved by any kind of action from our Commander in Chief.

Fehrenbach will be attending (guest of the [?] Members Legal Defense Fund) barry’s White House Reception honoring the LGBT community and commemorating the Stonewall Inn Riots.

What would he say to barry?

Lt Col FEHRENBACH:

I would love to tell that him I want to continue to serve. That it’s been my dream — that it’s been to my entire life – I want to serve my country. I would like to ask him when he plans on saying or doing something about it – when he plans to keep his promise to all of us to be able to continue to serve, and end discrimination, and to stand up for equal rights for all Americans.

MADDOW: You hopeful?

Lt Col FEHRENBACH:

I am still hopeful.

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