One-on-One Interview: Fehrenbach Flying High Since DADT Repeal

By Jody May-Chang ©2010

Lt. Col. Victor FehrenbachBorn on Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio where his father was a navigator and his mother a nurse, Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach was essentially born to serve.

After giving his entire adult life to the Air Force as a combat pilot, this highly decorated war hero has been grounded and sitting behind a desk for the last two and a half years.

After being outed as gay by a civilian, Fehrenbach learned, Sept. 11, 2008 his commander recommended him for separation from the U.S. Air Force under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, (DADT).

Today however, the elated Fehrenbach no longer needs his jet to fly since President Obama signed the repeal of DADT into law Dec 22. Stationed at Mountain Home AFB since 2007, Fehrenbach talked to this reporter the next day about his turbulent journey.

The day of the Senate vote (Dec. 18), “I was actually in the Senate chamber,” said Fehrenbach. “I was counting on my fingers as we went.” Suspecting 61 votes and perhaps some surprises, he knew it was in the bag when his senator, George Voinovich (R-OH), voted yes.

“I knew then it would defiantly pass the 60 mark and I knew it was over.” The final vote was 65 to 31.“Gosh, there was probably ten minutes where I was extremely emotional,” Fehrenbach recalled. Continue reading