Thursday, May 1, 2014

Plot Twist

Madelynn Taylor, 74, is a lesbian, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a resident of Idaho.  When Taylor's wife Jean Mixner died in 2012, Taylor asked the Idaho Veterans Cemetery to reserve space for the both of them.  The cemetery responded not on your life--or death.

Enter U.S. Army Col. Barry Johnson (ret.), who wrote in an open letter to the Idaho Statesman, “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.”

What the Idaho Veterans Cemetery will do now, if anything, remains to be seen. But what a grand gesture the Army veteran has made toward the Navy veteran.  It proves not only that straights can get along with gays, but that the Army can get along with the Navy.

Johnson deserves the last word:   “Give Madelynn and Jean and others like them a break. Stop finding reasons to make life – and in this case, death – harder than it needs to be,” he wrote.  “That’s just irritating as hell and disrespectful to boot.”