Same-Sex Couple Set for National Cemetery Burial

First-time event follows VA waiver
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2013 3:10 AM CST
Same-Sex Couple Set for National Cemetery Burial
Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo)

For the first time, a veteran's same-sex partner is due for burial in a national cemetery. Nancy Lynchild, who died in December, will be buried in Willamette National Cemetery in Oregon; her partner, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Linda Campbell, will someday have her ashes buried alongside Lynchild's. The move follows a long push by Campbell that ended in a waiver from Eric Shinseki, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The decision marks another in a series of big changes that Campbell has seen for gays—particularly women—in the military. At the beginning, she kept quiet about her sexuality, but eventually found some support. She married Lynchild in Canada in 2010. But, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently noted, gay military couples still don't have burial benefits. With support from Sen. Jeff Merkley and an Oregon labor official, Campbell's waiver application was eventually accepted. The Oregonian has the full story. (More national cemetery stories.)

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