Gay MN soldier gets Hawaiian tribute

The parents of Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt say their fallen son is getting another military memorial — and one that acknowledges he was gay, unofficially, anyway.

Jeff Wilfahrt says the member of OutServe Hawaii — a group of gay and lesbian military personnel — have adopted a two-mile stretch of Highway 83 on Oahu as a tribute to the fallen MP, killed in February while serving with the Army in Afghanistan. His was trained as an MP and his unit was based in Hawaii.

Wilfahrt’s parents, Lori and Jeff, say they’re sorry the military couldn’t acknowledge their son’s sexuality, despite the sacrifice he made for the service and his country.

Wilfahrt’s parents were in Hawaii last week for the return of Andrew’s unit for a memorial service. “Even the company officers were weeping at (Andrew’s) loss,” Jeff Wilfahrt said.

sign2.jpgCorporal Wilfahrt, who grew up in Rosemount, already already has several tributes, including his name on an official unit memorial in Hawaii and an MP outpost named after him in Afghanistan. That’s the sign outside it, at right.

But the Hawiian remembrance is the only one that will, at least indirectly, acknowledge his sexuality. Wilfahrt’s father says the OutServe members want to commemorate Andrew as a gay soldier, but can’t do so overtly, “since remnants of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell still pertain.”

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