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Darren Manzella
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Military Personnel
    (August 8, 1977-August 29, 2013)
    Born in Pittsford, New York
    US Army combat medic
    Served two tours in the Middle East
    Came out as gay on 60 Minutes (December 16, 2007)
    Discharged for violating the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) policy (June, 2008)
    Killed when he was struck by an SUV while pushing his disabled car off the road
    While at Fort Hood, he came out to his commander (August, 2006).
    After a three week investigation, the Army concluded there was 'no proof of homosexuality,' despite his admission and his providing a videotape of himself passionately kissing his boyfriend.
    He got discharged for giving repeated media interviews criticizing DADT.
    He had sideswiped another car just before the fatal accident.
    He was his high school homecoming king.
    A month after he told his commander he was gay, he sent on his second tour of duty in Iraq, even though the rationale for keeping gays out of the military was its supposed negative effect on morale in combat.
    He said about his fellow soldiers' lack of reaction when he came out, 'It makes me realize that they're more accepting than the older generation. We're equals. We're there fighting side by side.'
    After the repeal of DADT, he joined the New York Army National Guard (2011).
    Senator Chuck Schumer said he was 'someone who had the courage both to fight for his country and to change it.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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