Nathaniel Boehme made history on Sunday as the first person to be allowed by the Pentagon to wear a military uniform while in active duty at Seattle's Pride Parade, KING-TV reported.
According to KING, Boehme is a member of the Air National Guard out of Portland, Oregon. Although Boehme enlisted just days after the attack on America on September 11, 2001, he spent years in the closet. He has since gotten married to his partner.
After years of trying, the Pentagon finally granted his request to participate in Seattle Pride while in uniform.
“I honestly cried a little bit. I teared up. And for me personally, again, as a gay service member, it’s really monumental because it means that we are working toward a military and a community that’s more inclusive and recognizes all people’s contributions to the service of this nation no matter what,” Boehme told KING.
When Boehme enlisted, the US military had a policy, "Don't ask, don't tell." In 2011, don't ask, don't tell was repealed. The repeal allowed Boehme to come out of the closet.
"Those who want to serve need not do so in silence anymore, and I would say follow your heart," he told KING.