Gay Veteran's Spouse Will Be Buried in National Cemetery for the First Time Ever (VIDEO)

American Pride 52

air force lt. col. linda campbell
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Linda Campbell
As proud as we as Americans are of our country and our military, from time to time, it's easy to get discouraged or disgraced by inequalities driven by pure prejudice. Like same-sex marriage being a huge political battle. Or military spouses who happen to be gay being unable to get the same death benefits as hetero spouses. But recently, we've taken steps as a country to progress, to be better as a nation. One of the most recent: For the first time ever, a veteran's same-sex partner is due for burial in a national cemetery.

Nancy Lynchild, who died in December after a 12-year battle with breast cancer, will be buried in Willamette National Cemetery in Oregon. And someday, her partner who she married in Canada in 2010, a retired Air Force Lt. Col. Linda Campbell, will have her ashes buried alongside Lynchild's. It's a small but very significant move that was a long time coming.

Campbell had been making a play for Lynchild to be buried at Willamette for some time and finally got her wish when Eric Shinseki, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, signed a waiver, according to the The Oregonian.

The waiver was necessary because the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, bars same-sex couples like Campbell and Lynchild from military benefits like health care, housing allowances and on-base housing, and burial benefits.

With hope, though, this waiver -- along with how outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta instructed the service branches to extend additional military benefits, like emergency leave, commissary privileges, joint duty assignments, transportation, disability and death payments, and child care, etc. to same-sex partners --  is a sign that we may not be 100 percent there yet. But we're on our way.

Check out this video, produced jointly by Basic Rights Oregon and the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which has been working with Linda Campbell since last spring to get a waiver to the VA's policy prohibiting burials of same-sex couples in national cemeteries.

How do you feel about Campbell's story? Does it give you hope that we're on our way to a more equal country?


Image via Basic Rights Oregon & the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries/Vimeo

marriage equality, military

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Texas... TexasGirl512

The first step is always the hardest. God bless these two women. It's so obvious that their love was just as real as anyone else's!

Flori... Floridamom96

This is a slap in the face to all the military spouses who stood by their husband or wife through war, deployment and all that military service entails. She's late to the game and shouldn't receive such an honor without having sacrificed for it.

Zenia6 Zenia6

Slowly but surely things are changing for the better. :)

nonmember avatar melissa

Im so excited to see change. We are all people! Its time to start treating each other completely equally. Its taken so many years but I know this is our way of evolving to a higher consciousness. Let's throw out the senseless hate and be compassionate towards those who need it.

nonmember avatar melissa

Im so excited to see change. We are all people! Its time to start treating each other completely equally. Its taken so many years but I know this is our way of evolving to a higher consciousness. Let's throw out the senseless hate and be compassionate towards those who need it.

kelti... kelticmom

Seriously Floridamom? Your homophobia is showing. I'm the wife of a thrice deployed soldier and I have ZERO problem with it.

Flori... Floridamom96

I don't care what their sexual orientation is. I think this is an honor that should be bestowed upon spouses who sacrificed with their servicemember. National cemetaries have limited space. There must be some criteria. Marrying a retired servicemember and then dying a few years later is just not enough in my opinion.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Floridamom. What are you doing? You think you should be able to make the determination that this woman doesn't fit "your criteria"? Good thing you and your homophobic views arent making these decisions.



It's obvious you are on the wrong side of history. Should the black service members and their spouses be treated as second class citizens as well?



Keep your hateful, ridiculous opinions to yourself. Especially if it is about something as personal as where someone's remains are buried. You're pathetic.

kelti... kelticmom

So because they were not married while their spouse was deployed, they shouldn't be buried together? Really? Let me ask you this, if a male Marine, who served in any of our wars, wanted his female wife, whom he married AFTER he came home, buried beside him, would you really have a problem with it? I highly doubt it.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

If you'd bothered yourself to read the linked articles, you'd know they've been together since the beginning of the nineties. But evidently that isn;t enough for you.


They were unmarried because of laws against marriage equality that YOU support. It's down to  bigotry from people like you that makes life so much more difficult for people who happen to be homosexual.


 You're an odious little troll of a woman FloridaMom- just because you feel you have the right to treat people like inferior citizens, doesn't mean everybody else does.

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