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With 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Gone, Gay Sailor's Mother Can Rest

Chicago Heights resident Dorothy Hajdys-Clausen says the nightmare is over for gays in the military

A small American flag with the words "God Bless America" is taped to the front window Dorothy Hajdys-Clausen's home. In November of 1992 that American flag was presented to Dorothy at the gravesite of her son Allen Schindler Jr.

. His murder was classified as a hate crime many years later. The reason, because he was gay and could no longer conceal that while serving in the U.S. Navy.

Sept. 20, was the day Dorothy fought for and called politicians over. She's been praying to God for a change, to let gays and lesbians not be afraid because of who they are.

"I'm so happy 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' got repealed." Dorothy said. "I just hope now there will be no more deaths like Allen Schindler's."

She still remembers the first politician to contact her about a repeal.

"I remember going to Sen. Ted Kennedy's office, he was one of the first politicians that supported the repeal, back in 1993," Dorothy said. "He told me how sorry (he was) that Allen had to die for just being who he was. He must be in heaven rejoicing because he fought for this repeal 18 years ago."

Even after so many years, Dorothy's eyes well up with tears as she remembers her son. "This should have taken place a long time ago. I've been to D.C. and talked to several congressmen. I've waited for this." 

Thinking back to who her son was, Dorothy said she can imagine what he would have been telling her during the fight to repeal the policy.

"Allen would be saying, 'Go for it mom, don't let this happen to any mother's son,'" Dorothy said, smiling as she held her new puppy, Ginger. She can now rest, knowing other gays and lesbians serving in the military can be who Allen died fighting to be: themselves.

Dorothy shared a poem and photograph, made for her by her other son Billy Hajdys. The poem is titled, "We'll Never Say Goodbye."

I cannot see you with my eyes,

or hear you with my ears,

but thoughts of you are with me still

and often dry my tears.

I think of happy times we shared 

and then I softly sigh,

but this I know - we'll meet again 

and never say good-bye.

For the whole story about Allen Schindler, visit the original Patch article, ""

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