It is difficult to take in all the different tragedies the media relays daily. Some of those events, such as the passing of journalist Michael Hastings, are like blows to the gut. For me, hearing of the death of Darren Manzella was another bitter blow.
I agree with the author of the following piece that the term “hero” is bandied about much too loosely these days. But, that being said, in my book the definition of a hero is a person who risks their life–their status, circumstances, welfare, safety–to fight for what they believe is right and just while helping their fellows. In Darren Manzella’s case the fight was for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. And, amazingly, he fought while serving his country in a military environment that refused him rights other soldiers took for granted.
Darren Manzella put himself at risk to shine a light for his fellow gay soldiers. He did it with dignity and character.
It is a cliché to say “the good die young”, but Mr. Manzella’s demise is a great loss for all Americans who cherish those best attributes of real patriotism and love of country.