Key Soldier in ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Fight Killed in Car Accident

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t1larg.manzella.cnnROCHESTER, New York– A leader in the fight against the Armed Forces’ “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy died after a car accident in Rochester, New York Thursday night, according to several sources.

Army Sgt. Darren Manzella, 36, was the first openly gay service member to speak to the press from a war zone.  He served in Iraq and Kuwait as a medic, and earned a Combat Medical Badge for treating soldiers while under fire.  He would have celebrated his two-month anniversary with his husband, Javier Lapeira, next week.

Manzella came out on CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2007 after he came out to his Army commanders and was investigated, but not discharged.  Following the CBS interview, he was honorably discharged in 2008.  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed in 2010.

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1 Comment

  • Keep It Real

    May god bless his family and partner. Know that his efforts and support of our country will not be forgotten. He is a true hero as all service people
    Are and a hero for standing up for who he was. heros come in all different forms and he served knowing he would be persecuted. May he rest in peace.