A story from the Aviano Air Force Base in Italy talks of Sgt. Mishon Montgomery who was able to bring her spouse, Maria, and their daughter on base–a right generally afforded to heterosexual couples. According to the article “Command sponsorship benefits extended to same-sex spouses in Italy”:
Staff Sgt. Mishon Montgomery, Aviano Airman Leadership School instructor, met her future wife, Maria, when she was 18 years old while living in Pensacola, Fl. Staff Sgt. Montgomery enlisted in the Air Force at 2002, when the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was still in effect. She describes the next ten years of her life as “living in the shadows.”
“We were asked to do our jobs and keep our personal life in the dark,” said Mishon. “I did the absolute best job I could and I did everything the Air Force asked of me because the Air Force was giving me a lot too.”
In 2012, DADT was revoked and in 2013, the Defense of Marriage Act was considered unconstitutional and not only could same-sex Airmen declare their orientation publically, but the Air Force could now recognize their marriages as well.
“There were a lot of big changes, really fast,” Montgomery. “When DADT was taken away, I was skeptical, but in my entire Air Force career, the Air Force gets it right for their people. I always kept faith that they would get this right too.”