Judge orders Air Force to reinstate officer forced out by ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
“A federal judge in Tacoma has ordered the Air Force to reinstate retired Maj. Margaret Witt, a skilled flight nurse, in a closely watched case involving the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays serving in the military.
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton marks the first time since Congress approved the policy in 1993 that a federal judge has ordered the military to allow an openly gay service member to serve in the armed forces.
“Good flight nurses are hard to find,” said Leighton, who found that the evidence presented at the trial showed Witt’s reinstatement “… would not adversely affect unit morale or cohesion” in her unit.
“You have been and continue to be a central figure in a long-term, highly-charged civil rights movement,’ said Leighton, speaking directly to Witt. “That role places extraordinary stresses on you, I know. Today, you have won a victory in that struggle, the depth and duration of which will be determined by other judicial officers and hopefully soon, the political branches of government.”
Witt, after the ruling said, “I can’t wait to just do my job. Go back to my unit and do what I’m supposed to do.”“
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This is a Ruling that all present and past Veterans should agree with.
I’m a Retired USN guy. I have personally worked with and lead gay military members - and I am very at peace with this. I have enjoyed knowing and serving with members that I knew were gay - hell, the unit knew they were.
That wasn’t the issue - rather it is the character and dedication a service member has to self, their fellow sailors (in my case) and to the Country.
That is what is needed and expected.
I was NEVER disappointed. I’m proud to have served with them.