In 1999, on the night of July 4th, my boyfriend PFC Barry Winchell was murdered in his sleep by Calvin Glover, at the direction of Justin Fisher.

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call informing me that Justin Fisher was to be moved to a halfway house, and then released from there on October 26th, 2006. He would then be a free man. Calvin Glover currently remains in military prison, serving a life sentence.

In GLBT circles, this story still remains at the edges of awareness for people, and it is so associated with me that many people think that it must be something that I talk about all the time to everyone who will listen, but I actually try not to discuss it personally very often. I am asked about it, and it comes up through mention of the movie “Soldier’s Girl”. In recognition of how moved people have been by the story, and out of respect to Barry, I always try to acknowledge their genuine sympathy and interest, but I don’t dwell on it because it makes me miserable. I know all too well that if Barry had never met me, things would probably be very different now, although who can say for sure since testimony in the trial revealed a history of abuse from his roommate Justin. I only knew Barry for a short, intense period of time, during which we spent every day together that we possibly could. But I have probably thought of him in some way or other every day for the last seven years, three months and 23 days.

Honestly, this long time later, the whole thing mostly leaves me feeling sad. Sad that such a sweet, good person was treated so cruelly, betrayed by people he trusted and an organization he loved, and then murdered. Sad that his family has been deprived of someone who must have been such a source of pride, comfort and love. And even sad that Justin Fisher and Calvin Glover made such horrible, cruel decisions, ruining their own lives and the lives of their innocent families, though my sadness at the waste of their lives does not mean that I do not feel they deserve to pay for their unforgivable crimes. For everyone’s sake, most of all Barry’s, I wish none of it had ever happened.

Click to hear “Dreamer” by Toni Childs, the song that was supposed to be in the movie “Soldier’s Girl”

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