Ellen Welcomes the First LGBT Navy Spouse of the Year

Ellen Welcomes the First LGBT Navy Spouse of the Year


First of all, congratulations. Thank you. And so how did
you– first of all, how did you learn that
you won this title? Well, first can I say what
an honor it is to be here, and to meet such a
beautiful person– Thank you. –beautiful human. Thank you. But we– the Armed Forces
Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Program
recognizes the 1.1 million military spouses around
the country for the work that they do in the community. And I was nominated and I
got a phone call the night before the
announcement was going to be made, because they
had to call and tell me that a producer
from the Ellen Show was going to be calling me. So I had to find out first. So I fell over on my couch,
and I just couldn’t believe it. It was amazing. Well, thank you, I know, I
heard you were fans of the show. Thank you for being
fans of the show. So– and you have been
in the Navy for 19 years? Yes, 19 years as of June. 19 years. [AUDIENCE CHEERS] Wow. How long have you
all been together? Actually, tomorrow is our
four year anniversary. Your four year anniversary. Congratulations. Happy Anniversary. Thank you. Thank you. All right. So in 19 years of
being in the Navy, did you even think this kind
of title would be possible? No. For 15 years of those, I served
under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. So it’s– the Department of
Defense and the US Navy has taken great strides in the last
two years to, first of all, be accepting and loving, and
just see us as a sailor and his spouse serving his country. And that’s– and it’s– it was
the date– the date changed, the day was repealed and the
next day, everybody was like, oh, OK. I’ll go back to work now. Really. It wasn’t a big deal. Everybody was totally accepting. It was not– my experiences
and many of my coworkers– actually, that’s our
submarine right now, are cheering us on right
now, waiting for us to show. Dramatic love and
support we’ve got. That’s fantastic. Well, hi, everybody, who’s
watching in the armed forces. [AUDIENCE CLAPS] So– now, what’s next? What’s happening after this? So in May we are traveling
to our nation’s capital where I will be participating
in a week long event program that culminates in a USO–
the national USO gala. And at that gala,
they will announce which one of the
six branch winners will be the overall military
spouse of the year for 2018. Right. So in– and all of the branches
so you’re now eligible to win– The overall. –the overall. Wow. And what would
that mean for you? Well, on so many different
levels, a platform to continue the work
that I’m already doing in the military community. Would you like to
explain what the work is? So– lots of different things. But my favorite is I volunteer
for an organization called Hiring Our Heroes that
works to provide employment opportunities for veterans,
transitioning service members, and military spouses. And that’s such
an important space right now for a lot
of different reasons. But employment is
what keeps us going. That’s amazing. So– yeah. That’s really cool. I just learned that in–
so you were in high school, you were graduating high school
the year that I came out– Yes. –right? So the year I was graduating
high school, you came out. And so for my entire adult
life, you have been– [CRYING] –a true
inspiration for us to live our authentic
selves and to not be defined by our sexuality,
and to go out into the world and do good. And I wanted to
thank you for that. Thank you so much. Thank you. [AUDIENCE CLAPS] Thank you so much
for saying that. But what you’re doing is going
to inspire so many people out there. And so, congratulations, to you. And I heard that you
had a gift for me. That’s why I came back
from commercial break because I was really
done talking to you, and they said, no,
they’ve got a gift. I said, then we’ll
bring them back. So what is it? OK. So in the US military,
we have a tradition called the challenge coin. Usually, our commanding
officers present this to a soldier, sailor,
airman or coastguards man for something outstanding
that they have done. So I wanted to present to you
fleet anti-submarine warfare’s training command
coin– challenge coin on behalf of thank you for
all your silver service, and sparring the nation
of love and hope. [AUDIENCE CLAPS] Wow. Thank you so much. That is so– thank you
so much, that’s amazing. That is– it’s real. Might break a tooth. All right. Well, I have something
for you, as well. I got something because
our friends at Walmart have committed to
honoring and supporting veterans and their families. As part of their
ongoing commitment, Walmart is donating $10,000
to Hiring Our Heroes. [AUDIENCE CLAPS]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *