It is 11 a.m. on Veteran’s Day, and I just got off the phone with former U.S. Army Sergeant Pepe Johnson. We’ve spent the four days since I returned to West Virginia strategizing and reaching out to West Virginia veterans who favor repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).  Seven years ago, despite an excellent record and the award of Soldier of the Year at Fort Sill, Pepe was discharged under the discriminatory DADT law.

We have less than 2 weeks to make sure that Senator-elect Manchin hears about DADT. Ask Senator-elect Manchin to honor Senator Robert Byrd’s legacy by supporting the repeal of DADT. Can you write a letter? Make a call? If you’re in West Virginia, e-mail me right now to find out the best way to make your voice heard.

There’s no time to lose. Pepe and I are making sure the Senator-elect Manchin hears the voices of fair-minded West Virginians.  That’s why we’ve teamed up once again with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and Fairness West Virginia to write letters, make calls and even videotape the stories of real Mountaineers who have been affected by DADT.

Can you help us send a message to Senator-elect Manchin before the Senate reconvenes next week? If you are a West Virginian with a story about how DADT has affected you or a loved one and you’d like to share it, contact me TODAY at

If you’re not in West Virginia, send a message to your senators today by visiting

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