INDEPENDENCE DAY

Born On The 4th Of July: 12 American LGBT War Heroes

MORGAN_CMDChief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan

Morgan, a member of the New Hampshire National Guard, fought tirelessly for equality for LGBT servicemembers and the repeal of DOMA, after coming out as a lesbian on September 20, 2011 — the day Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was officially repealed.

Morgan was  diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and underwent a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy. In 2010, with the cancer in remission, she was deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation New Dawn. Unfortunately, the cancer returned in 2011 and doctors told her it was incurable, meaning her wife Karen and their 5-year-old daughter Casey wouldn’t be eligible for survivors’ benefits because of the Defense of Marriage Act—even though Charlie and Karen were legally wed in New Hampshire.

Morgan, despite failing health, worked to educate Congress of DOMA’s harm. She sadly passed away in February this year, missing the Supreme Court’s historic ruling finally striking down DOMA. However, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NH) introduced a bill in her memory shortly after her death that would benefit same-sex military spouses.