Local veteran seeks return to duty

Jennifer McGinn - Courtesy photo
Jennifer McGinn
— image credit: Courtesy photo

At a time when military recruiters are hustling to fill the expanding personnel needs of an army at war, one group of veterans is fighting for their right to return to duty.

Bremerton resident Jennifer McGinn has joined 11 other veterans in an effort to force the military to allow homosexuals to serve.

“It’s rather ironic that on the same day Jennifer McGinn and others filed to return to duty that another group filed to get out of the military,” said Steve Ralls, director of communications for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “It seems like the military would be better fighting those who want to get out instead of those who want to be re-instated.”

The group filed a lawsuit on Dec. 6, Cook v. Rumsfeld, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of 12 lesbian and gay veterans seeking re-instatement in the Armed Forces.

Each of the plaintiffs was discharged under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gay, lesbian and bisexual military personnel.

“We don’t want any special rights,” said Sharon Alexander, an attorney for SLDN. “We’re talking about treating people equally.”

McGinn enlisted in the Army on Nov. 13, 2001 and was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for basic training and advanced individual training as a military police officer.

“When I see things over in Iraq I think

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