Dear Mr. President,
On August 3rd, my husband, David Lono Brunstad, will be promoted to Senior Master Sergeant, and I'll be there to hand him his new shirt with the extra stripe on it. I know this is a pretty common occurrence for many military families, but it has special significance for mine - not that long ago our relationship had to remain a secret because of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
David's deployment to Iraq in 2009 under this misguided policy was dark and lonely time for the both us. It was common for me not to hear from him for four or five days at a time, and for most families the old axiom "no news is good news" applied. Same-sex partners knew, however, that we weren't on anyone's contact list should something bad happen, so the pressure would just build and build until finally I heard his sweet voice on the other end of the line.
I knew he was under fire on a pretty regular basis and there were times that I struggled with keeping it together at home all by myself. On those days, Mr. President, it was your commitment to end this discriminatory policy that kept me going. I believed you - I trusted you - and I knew that, no matter how bad it got, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
My husband will deploy next June, but this time his pack will be a little lighter without the worry of whether or not his family will be taken care of. Sir, I doubt that I will ever be able to thank you in person, so I just need you to know that this military family will always be grateful for all you have done for us.
With Sincere Gratitude,
Darin Konrad Brunstad