Honoring a Fallen Hero

On Monday, 12/21 a motorcycle bomb attack in Bagram, Afghanistan killed 6 U.S. Troops.  Among those lives lost was Air Force Maj. Adrianna Vorderbruggen.  Maj. Vonderbruggen is remembered as much for her advocacy as her service in the military. She spent years working to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy that demanded gay troops’ silence. She died one day shy of the five-year anniversary of its repeal..  When her son was born, Vorderbruggen, still restrained by “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” could not tell anyone about his impending birth. She had to guess when to take time off to coincide with her birth. To the military at the time, she was not married; at best, she had a partner.  

I offer prayers for Major Vonderbruggen, for her service to her country, along with her dedication to make positive change to realize equal rights, freedoms and privileges for all gays and lesbians.  On Wednesday of this week, Maj. Vonderbruggen’s partner, Heather and their son, Jacob were present at Dover Air Force Base to be present for the solemn ceremony to welcome home their hero.  Heather and Jacob witnessed the ceremony not in the shadows in which they lived the majority of Maj. Vorderbruggen’s career, but openly as her family.  Peace be with you Maj. Adrianna and to your family.

— Maurice Parisien