Portland veteran remembered for securing same-sex burial rights - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland veteran remembered for securing same-sex burial rights with spouse

Posted: Updated: Apr 23, 2018 11:30 PM
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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The dying wishes of a military veteran from Portland were fulfilled at Willamette National Cemetery and her burial made history as a landmark moment for same-sex veterans who served the U.S.

Air Force Lt. Col. Linda Campbell died of cancer at the age of 71 on Friday, March 2. 

Starting five years ago, Campbell fought to become the first veteran to secure burial rights with a same-sex spouse at a national military cemetery.

Now, she will share burial space at Willamette National Cemetery with Nancy Lynchild, who died of cancer in 2012.

Campbell and Lynchild were twice domestically partnered in Oregon and eventually married legally in Vancouver, B.C.

During her 25 years of service, friends said Campbell concealed her sexual identity to avoid dishonorable discharge.

Following sustained advocacy from Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, then-Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki granted a burial waiver for Lynchild on Jan. 29, 2013.

Friends and family gathered to celebrate Campbell’s life and her battle for equal rights at Willamette National Ceremony on Monday.

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