Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dr. Cammermeyer To Be Honored

Dr. Grethe Cammermeyer who was brilliantly portrayed by Glenn Close in the 1995 Lifetime movie will be inducted into the LGBT OutServe-SLDN Hall of Heroes National Dinner will take place on the last night of the 5th Annual LGBT Military Conference in Washington, DC that runs from May 19 to 22nd. Cammermeyer was born in Oslo, Norway during the Nazi occupation. At 17 Dr. Cammermeyer attended the University of Maryland. By 1960 she became an American citizen. In 1961 she heard about the Army Student Nurse Program & joined the military. Lt. Cammermeyer then went on active duty after graduation in 1963. Her first active duty assignment was basic training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas where she & others learned to salute, wear the uniform, march & carry patients on litters through the desert terrain of Camp Bullis. Rising to the rank of Colonel Cammermeyer in 1988 she accepted the position of Chief Nurse of the Washington State National Guard. In 1989 during an interview for top-secret clearance, to apply for the War College, she told the military "I am a lesbian". She was then separated from the military despite an exemplary military & civilian professional record. In June 1992 her attorneys filed suit challenging the existing ban on homosexuals in the military & requesting her reinstatement. In & out of court for an ensuing 25 months until finally Judge Thomas Zilly ruled the policy was unconstitutional & based on prejudice. Dr. Cammermeyer was then reinstated in the National Guard in June of 1994 & resumed her previous position as Chief Nurse. In March 1997 after 31 years of dedicated service to America she retired with full military privileges.
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