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Lesbian military widow announces she'll get death benefits

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

May 19, 2014 -- updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)


Tracy Dice Johnson had been married to become able to Donna Johnson, any National Guard soldier

Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson ended up being killed with a suicide bomber within Afghanistan

Dice Johnson says VA will grant death benefits, she advised any gala for gay military families

(CNN) -- the lesbian widow involving an Afghanistan war soldier features announced in which the girl delay to see if the girl would get the same advantages as heterosexual spouses offers finally ended.

Over wild applause with a Washington dinner Saturday honoring gay military families, Tracy Dice Johnson said that your Department regarding Veterans Affairs had reviewed your ex case and also made a decision to grant your ex benefits, according any release in regards in order to the event on the defense Department's website.

A North Carolina National Guardsman and also Iraq war veteran, she was married to the woman's longtime love, National Guard Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson.

Donna Johnson, 29, had been killed in October 2012, when a suicide bomber attacked the checkpoint your woman ended up being helping set up in Khost, according to a CNNMoney article revealed throughout March.

At time the tale published, nine weeks choose for you to go by simply since the particular Supreme Court had managed in order to get possible for same-sex couples have been previously denied federal benefits to start with receiving them.

Johnson's request hadn't been denied, but your woman had applied twice as well as had received just letters stating that the woman's request had been being reviewed.

Johnson had been honored at the American Military partner Association's inaugural National Gala dinner exactly where the girl told the audience the VA had "decided to retroactively recognize me," the Protection Department launch says.

The widow thanked the girl "family" inside the American Military partner Association.

Members of the group were there pertaining to her, the girl said, when the "unthinkable happened as well as continue to become there personally yet others even as serve."

Rosemary Freitas Williams, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military neighborhood and family members policy, stated the Pentagon features begun numerous applications that will assistance to ensure that support members have complete usage of benefits in which what your law states affords them.

"Our military will no longer always be lacking your abilities and abilities involving patriotic Americans just since they occur to be gay or lesbian," Williams said. "And now we can say in our military spouses as well as partners, 'Welcome aboard.'"

CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto contributed in order to this report.

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