Officer sues to block his discharge under gay ban

In early 2008, just eight days before he was to deploy in support of the war in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, a decorated Air Force flight officer, was told he was under investigation on charges of sexually assaulting a civilian and of violating the military’s ban on homosexuality. He was placed on desk duty at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. Within three weeks, the sexual assault allegation was dismissed for lack of evidence. But the Air Force investigation into his sexuality continued. Now, the New York Times reports, just a year from completing his 20th year in the military, Colonel Fehrenbach, 40, believes he is about to be discharged under the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He would be among the highest-ranking service members discharged under the policy. On Wednesday, Colonel Fehrenbach’s lawyers filed papers in Idaho federal court requesting a temporary order blocking his discharge.

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