Sunday, October 7, 2012

Observations 10.7.1

I wanted to share a portion of a statement by the North Carolina National Guard on the death of Staff Sgt. Donna R. Johnson in Afghanistan. Any death is sad, made even sadder given the location, but the line I have italicized seems important to me because I don't remember seeing something like it before. It's the flip side of the photo I used in my post on the anniversary of the end of DADT.

North Carolina National Guard Press Release
Lt. Col. Robert Carver
Office of Public Affairs
October 4, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. – Army Staff Sgt. Donna R. Johnson of the North Carolina Army National Guard’s 514th Military Police Company based in Winterville, N.C., died as a result of wounds sustained in a suicide bomber attack while on patrol in Afghanistan, on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Staff Sgt. Donna R. Johnson, 29, of Raeford, N.C., is survived by her mother and father Sandra and Philas Johnson, her sister Rene Albattrawi, her Nephew and Niece, Jason and Hannah Albattrawi
and by her Spouse Tracy Dice.... (Full Statement)

Donna and her wife Tracy were married on Valentines Day of this year just before her deployment to Afghanistan.

10/8 update - Just wanted to clarify myself a bit. I was excited, satisfied, proud (pick one) to see the word spouse used with no other same-sex explanation necessary, like it was totally normal, which is exactly how it should be and hopefully always will be going forward.


  1. Are you proud or upset that the word "spouse" was used? It was left a little vague and I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. I think this is progress. There's no way the government would use "wife" in a statement. It would invite a media backlash and most of the country just isn't ready for those terms yet.

    "Husband" and "Wife" have very religious meaning attached to them, whereas "Spouse" is a more official/governmental term. In reading the whole statement, I think they acknowledged her wife in a way which avoided turning this woman's very unfortunate death into a public fight and kept the focus on her life and achievements.

    1. Yeah I guess I wasn't all that clear. I don't know if pride is the right emotion to use. More like satisfaction. It was just nice to see the spouse without any other explanation, like it was just totally normal.

      Actually I think more of the country is ready for those terms than you would think. As with anything it's always the zealots that make the most noise. In this case the religious wingnuts who want to go back to the dark ages. I for one am not going ....