A 91-year-old veteran who lost his career in Air Forces for being gay (although he worked there from 1940s) and who is now completely cleared of all charges, says that now he can hold his head up high even when he goes to the grave. “Hearing that the discharge status had been switched to “honorable” was the tonic I needed. I felt unburdened. The negative thoughts that have plagued me for seven decades have been banished forever. I can go to my grave with my head held high,” Hubert Edward Spires told New York Post.
Military veterans were able to apply to have their discharges overturned following the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in 2010, however Mr Spires was told he was not able to get his ‘undesirable’ status changed because records of his discharge had been lost in a fire. In November Mr Spires launched a lawsuit aimed at getting the Air Force to overturn his dishonourable discharge, and this week a settlement was reached as the Air Force changed his discharge to honourable. The Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records confirmed that the request for an honourable discharge has now been approved by the Air Force Review Boards Agency. Mr. Spires, whose health condition is not good now, officially deserved a military burial.