Veteran Offers Burial Plot So Lesbian Vet & Wife Can Be Buried Together
After 74-year-old Idaho lesbian Navy veteran Madelynn Taylor was denied the right to be buried next to her deceased wife in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, a fellow military veteran has offered up his plot in the Veterans Cemetery to Taylor and her wife.
Retired Army Colonel Barry Johnson writes in his opinion piece in the Idaho Statesman:
As a lifelong Idahoan and a 27-year Army veteran of two wars, I've worked beside heterosexuals, gays, lesbians and bisexuals. I've really never wanted to hear about anybody's sex life or sexual preferences, one way or another. Besides, everybody more or less knew who is who regardless, and I don't recall anybody in the military ever saying a thing about it. Never.
Frankly, the only thing traumatic about the policy change for our armed forces of allowing gays to openly serve our country was all the media making a big deal about it. It didn't change a thing for any of us doing the job. Serving in uniform has always been about earning trust and has never been about sexuality.
Most of us just shrugged and endured sitting through hours of mind-numbing briefings on a change that essentially changed nothing.
Then we have Madelynn Taylor, who seems like one heck of a lady. She cared for another person with all her heart and had to watch that person die. She is a veteran. She loves her country. She wants her partner by her side and she wants to eternally rest among veterans in the state she made home.
Madelynn, you deserve that.
I'll tell you what. I will donate the plot I earned in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery to you and Jean. I am happy to give my fellow veteran that small peace of mind. And I do it to honor all the great Americans I've served with along the way - gay, straight, whatever. (I don't know whether it is possible to donate my plot, but I am quite sincere about my willingness to do so.)
No word yet on whether the Veterans Cemetery will thwart Johnson's efforts, but it's a generous heartfelt offer.
This discriminatory treatment of a veteran by the state of Idaho is shameful.