Findlay woman resigns from West Point over 'don't ask, don't tell' - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Findlay woman resigns from West Point over 'don't ask, don't tell'

By Jonathan Walsh - bio | email | Facebook

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - Katherine Miller, 20, has resigned from West Point because she is gay. Her resignation was accepted Friday.

Miller says she had to leave because she could not hide her sexuality any longer.

She says she was inspired at a young age by the promise of serving her country.

However, as a teen coming to terms with her sexuality, she only told a few friends and a couple of family members that she is gay.

Miller knew about the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but says she was "absolutely confident in my ability to overcome that."

Despite the nine year commitment to West Point and the military, Miller was says she was willing to go back into the closet. 

For example, during her first year at West Point she told her fellow cadets during basic training that she had dated men.

Miller says the turning point for her was when other cadets discussed the military's controversial policy.

"I just remember the hatred and the ignorance that was thrown around by people who were my friends, people who I considered my friends," Miller said.

Sunday night was the deadline for two-year cadets to sign a contract for two more years at the academy and five more years after that for military service.

By coming out now, she says she won't have to hide herself anymore or repay thousands of dollars if someone would out her after she would sign.

Miller plans to attend Yale University next month to study sociology and continuing her examination of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"I do want to help the others, my friends, all gay and lesbian service members that are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now," Miller said.

She says she was ranked 9th out of her class of 1157 cadets.

Those who support the "don't ask, don't tell" policy believe an openly gay military would create more problems for training and combat missions.

However, many believe Congress could soon be close to repealing the controversial policy after the House approved a repeal. Now, it is up to the Senate to vote on the policy.

Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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