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Bay area veteran shares her story of being gay during DADT | People

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Bay area veteran shares her story of being gay during DADT
People
Bay area veteran shares her story of being gay during DADT

Lakeland, FL - For eight years straight, Felicia Pecoro served her country silently under Don't Ask Don't Tell.

"It was a little lonely," she said.

Pecoro, 41, was a machine-gunner for the Army. Her service took her to Korea, Haiti and Bosnia. She rose up the ranks to become a sergeant. All the while, she never breathed a word to her comrades about her true self.

"Not only would it have been bad for me and dangerous for me but it might have set them in a bad place where they would have gotten in trouble because they knew about it. Under DADT, they [fellow soldiers] were required to tell the company commander there was a gay amongst them," explained Pecoro.

So, when her contract came up, Pecorro got out. "It was such a contradiction to serve my country and be open at the same time. Plus, I'm turning my back on my partner because I can't acknowledge they even exist," said Pecoro.

She says she would not change the course of her life - all of which she owes to the army.

"If it wasn't for the army, I don't think I would be where I am today," said Pecoro.

Today, she is a Tampa police officer, happily married, to her partner Cheryl who is also a police officer. While life worked out for this gay veteran, to see President Obama repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell on Wednesday marked a monumental moment for a military member who served in silence.

"Woohoo!" exclaimed Pecoro.

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