Monday, August 13, 2012

Tammy Smith First Openly Gay US General

While everyone was digesting Romney’s choice for a running mate former Army Colonel Tammy Smith has become the first openly gay flag officer to come out while currently serving in the U.S. military. She was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in a private ceremony which took place Friday at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Brigadier General Smith received her stars from her wife Tracey Hepner. Sue Fulton, a 1980 West Point graduate & member of the OutServe Board of Directors stated, “For years, gay & lesbian generals & admirals were forced to hide their families in order to protect their careers. It is a great day for our military & for our nation when this courageous leader is finally able to recognize her wife for her support & sacrifice in the same way that all military families should be recognized for their service to our country.” Army Veteran & Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director stated, “It is indeed a new era in America’s military when our most accomplished leaders are able to recognize who they are & serve the country they love at the same time. Brigadier General Smith made history today - not only as an exemplary service member who renders outstanding service to our nation with integrity & honor but as a proud lesbian acknowledging the tremendous sacrifice her family makes in order for her to serve & advance. This day was long overdue, but I have no doubt more senior enlisted & officers will follow BG Smith in stepping forward smartly with their spouses & loved ones.” Smith is assigned as deputy chief in the Army Reserve Office of the Chief in Washington, D.C. Her wife Tracey Hepner co-founded the Military Partners & Families Coalition, a key voice in the debate over benefits & military programs for same-gender partners. Updates to Come…:)

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