An unidentified soldier became the second known gay casualty of the war in Iraq yesterday, according to a release from the Palm Center:
"Congressman Jim Moran read a letter on the floor of the House of Representatives today from an active duty soldier in Iraq. Congressman Moran stated that the soldier had, 'learned that a fellow soldier was also gay, only after he was killed by an IED in Iraq. The partner of the deceased soldier wrote the unit to say how much the victim had loved the military; how they were the only family he had ever known.' The soldier originally provided the letter in response to an inquiry for the Pentagon’s current study of 'don’t ask, don’t tell.'
This is the second publicly known case of a gay soldier killed in action during the current wars in the Middle East. The first was U.S. Army Major Alan Rogers, who died while on patrol in Iraq in January, 2008. Statisticians have estimated that more than 200 gay and lesbian service members have perished since the onset of the conflict. Military leaders this week suggested in Congressional hearings that gay and lesbian troops disrupt the force."
Note: the original version of the Palm Center's release said that the soldier had been killed in Afghanistan (the text of their release still does) but a note has been made that he was killed in Iraq.
Said the Palm Center's Nathaniel Frank: "It is important to honor the sacrifice of all American troops, and we do so today and always."