GLBT Color Guard first gay group allowed to march in Veterans Day Parade
The GLBT Community Color Guard, made up of gay and lesbian veterans, has sought permission to march in the annual Veterans Day parade before, but the answer's always been no -- until this year. With the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, an invitation to take part in tomorrow's event in downtown Denver was finally granted. Says color guard leader and thirteen-year military vet Luiza Fritz, "This is a big deal."
Big pic below.
Color guard organizer John Kelly, an eight-year Air Force veteran, "has worked diligently to get us into the parade," Fritz notes. "He's tried it before, but they haven't allowed anything gay in the parade until this year. So we're the first gay group to march post-repeal."
This isn't the only potential breakthrough for Fritz, who was kicked out of the service in 2008 for the crime of "attempted marriage;" she and her significant other, Sarah, had entered into a domestic partnership prior to her deploying in Iraq. When we spoke to her in September, she told us she was considering legal action to get back into the military -- but now, it looks like that might not be necessary.
"I just went to the recruiters office on Tuesday," she says -- a trip made possible because of a brief, three-day layoff from her gig as a union electrician (she's already back on the job). "I took all eight inches of my files, everything I had, and the recruiter sat down and went through it. And at least right now, it looks like it's going to work."
Granted, she may have to make some adjustments. Fritz was hoping to rejoin active duty, but with the various service branches downsizing, there were no openings for someone at her rank: She left the National Guard as an E7 platoon sergeant. "But the recruiter suggested I join Army reserve in Denver. They have two E7 positions open, and if I go reserve, it'll make the transition to active duty easier -- plus, I'd get to keep my rank. I'd get back everything I lost."
Luiza and Sarah.
Page down to continue reading -- and to see a photo of the color guard.