Military Partners and Families Coalition is thrilled to congratulate newly-appointed Army Brigadier General Tammy Smith and her wife, MPFC co-founder Tracey Hepner.
History was made on Friday, August 10 when at her promotion ceremony, BG Smith had her star pinned on by her wife. With this simple act, BG Smith has become the first openly lesbian general officer in the US Military.
“This is significant for so many reasons, but from a gay and lesbian military partner’s perspective, it has impacts far beyond the headlines you’ll read,” said Ariana Bostian-Kentes, President of MPFC. “Before the repeal of DADT last year, the partners and families of lesbian and gay servicemembers would perhaps be found standing at the back of a room during an event such as this, if we could risk even going at all. Now we are where all military families belong: out of the shadows and standing beside our servicemember.”
Tracey Hepner’s journey with MPFC began at the Pentagon where she met the other co-founders when called to testify before the Comprehensive Review Working Group on the potential outcomes of repealing the DADT policy. The co-founders had never met in person before that day in October 2010 and the mantra that emerged from the daunting task before them became “Love is worth it.” Love was worth facing the fear, taking the risk and making their voices heard.
Military Partners and Families Coalition will continue to provide support, resources, education and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military partners and their families. MPFC is the first organization of its kind, focusing specifically on bringing together a coalition of organizations that have a role in supporting the partners and families of LGBT service members in a post-DADT military and creating unique resources to support and empower military families.
“We have no doubt Tracey will excel at fulfilling her obligations as a General’s wife and make it her responsibility to uphold Army values alongside BG Smith. This promotion exemplifies how much one can accomplish with the support of a strong military family; Tracey is that family for BG Tammy Smith and we are all thrilled that now she can be recognized for it,” said Bostian-Kentes.
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