Retired Lt. Col. Linda Campbell was relieved to find out that the Department of Veterans Affairs had approved her request to have her partner, Nancy Lynchild, who died in December, buried in Willamette National Cemetery, southeast of Portland. Unlike Campbell, Lynchild herself was not a veteran, and she is believed to be the first same-sex spouse of a military member buried in a national cemetery. Though “don’t ask, don’t tell” has been abolished, same-sex marriage is still not formally recognized by the military. The secretary of Veterans Affairs said it was actually the first time he’d been asked to consider such a case and clarified that his decision applies solely to Campbell and Lynchild and is not an indication of new policy.
FIRST TIME Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Ore. (Don Ryan/AP)