The holidays will be a whole lot brighter for the Manzella family, who are looking forward to welcoming a very special guest home.
Many of you have called and emailed about what's next for Sergeant Darren Manzella, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network client who was featured on Sunday's 60 Minutes story about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Today, we can give you the first update on Darren's story.
Sergeant Manzella arrived back in the United States yesterday with his unit, returning from a long tour in Kuwait. He got back to his base in the States yesterday, safe and sound.
As you can imagine, his CBS appearance on Sunday has caused quite the buzz among his fellow troops, but Darren reports to SLDN that he's received an overwhelmingly positive response from many people - both inside and out of the armed forces - who have contacted him to offer support and congratulations. (And we've been passing along your messages to Darren, too. You can still email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Now, of course, Darren's thoughts are turning to the upcoming holidays. And, we're happy to report, it looks like he'll likely be able to spend Christmas at home with parents and siblings, who are all immensely proud of him.
I called Darren's mom & dad just a few minutes ago to let them know that SLDN is working hard to get him home for the holidays.
To say they are excited . . . proud . . . and looking forward to seeing him is an understatement. (Darren's mom has shared just a few tears with me on the phone many times throughout this process.) Their support for Darren has been unwavering, and their commitment to joining him in the fight to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has inspired and moved all of us at the SLDN office.
But first, there's a well-deserved holiday break on the horizon for Sergeant Manzella and a homecoming that two wonderful parents have been waiting for . . . for a very long time.
Originally posted at Frontlines.