Last year, the United States ended the centuries-old ban on gays in the military, along with two decades of a draconian “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. On Friday, Tammy Smith became the nation’s first openly gay flag-ranking military officer.
Her new, five-pointed jewelry was pinned on her uniform at a ceremony in Arlington by her wife, Tracey Hepner. Hepner is a founder of the Military Partners and Families Coalition, which “advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military partners and their families. “
"Looking at the photos of Tracey’s joy as she pins the star on my shoulder is a memory that will imprint my heart forever,” Brig. Gen. Smith said. Although she acknowledged that the Defense Department prefers that sexual orientation remain “a private matter,” she said that “participating with family in traditional ceremonies” is what is “expected of a leader."
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