KANSAS CITY, December 23, 2005 (SLDN)
– Patricia Kutteles, mother of slain Army Private First Class Barry
Winchell, issued a statement today in response to reports that Private Kyle
Lawson, 19, was attacked by a fellow service member at Fort Huachuca,
Arizona, after fellow soldiers learned Lawson is gay.
In 1999, Kutteles’ son was brutally
murdered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, following months of pervasive
harassment which went unchecked by the base’s command.
“My husband Wally and I are
outraged to learn that yet another Army Private has been the target of
harassment and violence at the hands of a fellow soldier,” she said.
“In 2000, following Barry’s murder,
the Pentagon announced it would take concrete steps to curb anti-gay
harassment in our military and to hold accountable those who harass and
“Nearly six years later, Pentagon
leaders have failed to keep their promise.
“The time has come for them to do
just that, or for Congress to hold them accountable if they do not,” she
“The attack on Private Lawson is
inexcusable, as is the Pentagon’s failure to train its personnel, hold
attackers accountable and treat every service member with the dignity and
respect they deserve.
“According to Sunday’s Arizona
Daily Star, officials at Fort Huachuca have refused to prosecute the attack
on Private Lawson as a felony assault, as recommended by local police.
Instead, they appear to have revoked the attacker’s weekend pass and asked
Private Lawson to sleep on a cot in his drill sergeant’s office.
“Words cannot express how upset we
are to learn that no appropriate punishment has been ordered in this case.
“Private Lawson’s mother told the
Star that she has been crying herself to sleep and is afraid for her son’s
life. I understand her pain. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ impacts every service
member – gay and straight alike – by creating a weapon to end careers and
endanger service members through accusations, finger-pointing and rumor.
“Unless Pentagon leaders finally
get a clue and lead the way in combating harassment and discrimination, I
fear that attacks like these will continue to make headlines.”
I’m Afraid for His Life, Gay Soldier’s Mom Says. The mother of
a gay American teenage soldier has told a newspaper that she is afraid for
his life, following a homophobic assault, allegedly by another soldier, in
“I have been crying myself to
sleep,” Sheila Lawson told the Arizona Daily Star which revealed the case of
19 years-old Private Kyle Lawson. (UK Gay
News, December 19, 2005)
Arizona Daily Star - USA:
Gay Soldier Leaving Army After Assault at Fort Huachuca. By Carol Ann Alaimo. Fear is keeping Pvt. Kyle Lawson awake at night — not
of the enemy, but of his fellow soldiers. For weeks, the 19-year-old
Tucson native has been sleeping on a cot in his drill sergeant's office to
protect him from further attacks because he is gay. ( Arizona Star, Sunday December 18,
■ For more information on the
Anti-Harassment Action Plan, visit the