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Image by: Kati Garner
Last night Sacramento Valley Veterans (SVV), along with LGBT Veterans groups, hosted a celebration at Head Hunters/Kennedy Gallery in midtown. The crowd was enthusiastic for several public figures who dropped by to share their support and happiness that the 18-year long Don't Ask, Don't Tell compromise ended. It allowed homosexuals to serve in the military by keeping our sexual orientation under wraps.
That was 20 years after I enlisted. I'm gay. I served in the US Navy from '73 to '77 and received an honorable discharge at the end of my enlistment.
I've carried a mental smirk about that ever since.
During last night's celebration, emcee Ty Redhouse, SVV President and USAF veteran asked the audience who served in the military?
Lots of hands went up.
Unbeknownst to me, my sister who is also gay, told Ty what I did in the service. He acknowledged me for making naval history when I became the first female to graduate from the US Navy's Scuba Diving School at San Diego's Naval Station.
My co-workers after school were obviously men. They had my gayness figured out and it was not a problem.
And, thanks to Naval Public Affairs, I was on The Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line and in several books.
Now that the appeal has made it ok to be gay and serve our country, the military can continue with its mission. That's all any of us want - to carry on our life's mission.
We gay folks make many sacrifices and contributions just like straight people in the military. I was proud in my uniform and serving in the US Navy for four years.
I'll probably always carry my mental smirk because "I got away with it"!!!
Enough about me.
HERE'S SOME PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT: (Image by: Kati Garner) (Image by: Kati Garner) Image by: Kati Garner (Image by: Kati Garner) Image by: Kati Garner Image by: Kati Garner Image by: Kati Garner Image by: Kati Garner
On display in the Kennedy Gallery are historical photos and articles depicting DON'T ASK DON'T TELL era.
For a video of last night CLICK HERE>>>