Reinstated Wash. nurse welcomes end of gay ban

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A Washington state flight nurse who spent seven years fighting the military's ban on open service by gays and lesbians says she hopes the repeal of the law will prompt gay service members to stand a little taller.

Maj. Margaret Witt, of Spokane, was discharged from the Air Force Reserve for engaging in a relationship with a civilian woman. A federal judge found her dismissal unconstitutional last year, and Witt retired with a full military pension in May.

In a statement released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Witt says gays and lesbians who have continued to serve under "don't ask, don't tell" can be a little prouder both of themselves, and of the military they serve.

The repeal of the ban took effect Tuesday.