Gay 79 y.o. Marine dies 2 weeks after discharge finally changed to “honorable”

A sad, yet uplifting, story about Hal Faulkner, a 79 year old gay man who got an “undesirable discharge” from the Marines in 1956, because he’s gay.

Faulkner died Tuesday, less than two weeks after he got the “honorable discharge” he’s been wanting for decades, NPR reports.

Thanks to the help of OurServe-SLDN, Faulkner, who had terminal cancer, was able to finally get his discharge status changed.

NPR reports in a separate story that a change of this type can often take six months.  But the Marines, to their credit, processed it in only two weeks.  Just in time for Faulkner to receive it before his death.  In fact, Faulkner’s doctors only gave him six months to live, a year ago.

HRC says that 114,000 US service members got less-than-honorable discharges because they’re gay, and that many don’t realize they can get their discharge status corrected.

Frank Bruni wrote a beautiful piece about Faulkner a few weeks ago, it’s worth a read.

Here’s the close from one of the NPR pieces:

“I don’t have much longer to live,” Faulkner said, “I will always be a Marine. Thank you. Semper fi.”

The young marines answered him back with the Marines battle cry: “Oorah.”


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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