Kudos to Equality Florida members Felicia Pecora and Lisa Boeving for speaking out so eloquently against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". They did a great job humanizing the impact of this legalized discrimination. Way to go.
LAKELAND | Felicia Pecora said she hadn't yet found herself when she enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve at age 22.
Eight years later, Pecora says, she had gained maturity, fortitude and self-confidence. She had also attained the rank of sergeant and been deployed on missions to Bosnia and Haiti.
It was precisely her newfound self-esteem that made Pecora realize she could no longer remain in the Army Reserve as a gay woman forced to conceal her sexual identity.
"My experience in the military, I think, saved my life," the Lakeland woman said. "The irony of it is the military gave me the strength to be who I was, and that's why I couldn't reenlist - because I couldn't go back in the closet. That was kind of a sad thing, because I think I was a good soldier. I loved it. I loved being a soldier."