The Kansas Army National Guard has
discharged a gay female veteran after it was found out she kissed
another woman in a Wal-Mart store, reports the Kansas City Star.
Amy Brian is the first person to be
discharged by the Kansas military unit under the military's “don't
ask, don't tell” policy that bans gay and lesbian service members
from revealing their sexual identity and which requires that they celibate.
Brian served nine years in the guard,
including a deployment in Iraq. Her “separation” became
effective Jan. 13.
The investigation that pushed Brian out
of her job began after a female civilian co-worker told officials she
saw her kiss another woman in a Wal-Mart checkout line.
The discharge has been difficult for
Brian, who was forced to end her pursuit of a master's degree in
business administration because she lost her educational assistance.
In October 2005, Brian returned from
Iraq and to her full-time job at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office
warehouse in Topeka where she was eventually promoted to oversee a
reorganization of the Kansas Army National Guard's government
purchase card program.
The Army's investigation began in
August when several anonymous emails tipped off investigators that
she was a lesbian. The emails also talked about a social networking
website that included her photo.
“Everyone I went with [to Iraq] knew
I was gay, and no one had a problem with it,” she said. “It
didn't make a difference when I went to Iraq. It didn't make a
difference when I drove that truck. It didn't make a difference in
my ability to serve my country.”
“I was not separated because of any
type of misconduct but plain and simply because someone else had a
problem with my sexuality.”