Margaret Witt, Lesbian Flight Nurse, Must Jump Through More Hoops Before Rejoining the Military, Says Air Force

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Yesterday, Major Margaret Witt's attorneys with the ACLU of Washington announced that the former flight nurse "will be able to resume her service." Witt, a lesbian who was discharged under the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy, said she was "thrilled to be able to serve in the Air Force again." But according to Pentagon statement provided to Seattle Weekly this morning, the Air Force isn't yet ready to welcome Witt with open arms.

The remarks by Witt and her attorneys stemmed from the government's legal filings yesterday. Although the feds filed an appeal of a September court ruling ordering Witt reinstated, they did not ask for a stay of that order pending the outcome of the appeal.

They didn't need to, says the Air Force. "To date, [Witt] has provided the Air Force no evidence that she meets the qualifications necessary to serve as an Air Force flight nurse, nor has she passed a medical physical which is also a prerequisite to her reinstatement," says the statement by Air Force spokesperson Karen Platt. Flight nurses must work at least 180 hours a year, and Platt hasn't served in the military since 2004.

Her attorneys don't expect the requirements to be a problem, according to ACLU Doug Honig. He says Witt may not have to make up for six years' worth of work, and will be discussing with the Air Force exactly what she needs to do.

Even so, Platt adds that should Witt meet all the necessary requirements "at some time in the future," the government will at that point "reevaluate" whether to not to ask for a stay of her reinstatement.

 
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