Lesbian Veteran Expelled From Air Force in 1955 Gets 'Honorable Discharge' - NBC Connecticut
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Lesbian Veteran Expelled From Air Force in 1955 Gets 'Honorable Discharge'

Helen Grace James entered the military in 1952 as a radio operator in New York and was investigated by the military after she was suspected of being gay

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    This file photo shows Helen Grace James holding a photo album with images from her time in the Air Force.

    A lesbian veteran who was expelled from the Air Force in 1955 finally received her "honorable discharge," more than 60 years later, NBC News reported.

    Helen Grace James received a FedEx delivery on Wednesday notifying her of her status upgrade to "honorable." The 90-year-old vet said she is "still trying to process it. It was both joy and shock. It was really true."

    James entered the military in 1952 as a radio operator in New York and was investigated by the military after she was suspected of being gay. After being arrested, James signed a document and was discharged as "undesirable," with no severance pay, insurance or other benefits.

    On Jan. 3, James sued the Air Force to have her discharge upgraded. She had said an "honorable" discharge would "make me feel like I've done all I can to prove I am a good person, and that I deserve to be a whole civilian in this country I love."

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    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018)