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(31 August 1977 – 6 July 1999) was an infantry soldier in the United States Army, whose murder by a fellow soldier, Calvin Glover, became a point of reference in the ongoing debate about the law known as "Don't ask, don't tell" that enforces the military to discharge service members based on sexual orientation.
A native of Missouri, Winchell enlisted in the Army in 1997 and was transferred in 1998 to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. As a Private First Class, he was assigned to the 2/502nd Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division. While stationed at Fort Campbell, he received a Dear John letter from his high school sweetheart. Winchell later accompanied his roommate, Justin Fisher, and other soldiers for an excursion to the Nashville downtown bars. In 1999, Fisher and others took Winchell to a Nashville club "The Connection", featuring transgender performers, and Winchell met a male-to-female transgendered showgirl named Calpernia Addams. The two dated and Fisher began spreading rumors of the relationship at Ft. Campbell where both were serving. Winchell then became a target of ongoing harassment and it is apparent that his superiors did little to quell the harassment.
The harassment was continuous until the Fourth of July weekend, when Winchell and fellow soldier, Calvin Glover, fought after Winchell accused a boasting Glover of being a fraud. Both were drinking beer throughout the day. Glover was soundly defeated by Winchell, and Fisher harassed Glover about being beaten by Winchell. Fisher and Winchell had their own history of physical altercations as roommates in the barracks of Ft. Campbell. Fisher continued to goad Glover about being beaten by Winchell. Subsequently, Glover took a baseball bat from Fisher's locker and struck Winchell in the head with the baseball bat as he slept on a cot outside near the entry to the room Winchell shared with Fisher in the early hours of 5 July 1999. Winchell died of massive head injuries on 6 July. Glover was later convicted for the murder of Winchell; Fisher was convicted of lesser crimes regarding impeding the subsequent criminal investigation, and both were subsequently incarcerated at the United States Disciplinary Barracks. The murder charges against Fisher were dropped and Fisher was sentenced in a plea bargain to 12.5 years, denied clemency in 2003, released to a halfway house in August 2006, and released from all custody in October. Glover is serving a life sentence.
The spokesperson, Kim Waldron, a civilian who works for the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga., said the active duty deployment of Reservists and National Guard troops who say they are gay, or who are accused of being gay, takes place under a Forces Command or “FORSCOM” regulation issued in 1999.
Waldron said the regulation is aimed at preventing Reservists and National Guard members from using their sexual orientation — or from pretending to be gay — to escape combat.
“The bottom line is some people are using sexual orientation to avoid deployment,” Waldron said. “So in this case, with the Reserve and Guard forces, if a soldier ‘tells,’ they still have to go to war and the homosexual issue is postponed until they return to the U.S. and the unit is demobilized.”
Originally posted by Quaght
Southern, I think you're missing the fact that while the constitution protects the rights of every American, no matter what their sexual orientation, or color or what have you, it does nothing to protect an American from getting himself/herself pummeled daily by people that have no respect
for the above types of people and whatever rights they have. THAT is what Don't Ask Don't Tell is for.