Ousted Air Force Nurse Wins Appeal

Margaret Witt, a former decorated Air Force Reserve flight nurse, who was ousted from USAF for allegedly violating the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, won an appeal in federal court May 21 that may give her another shot at reinstatement. The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported May 22 that a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals found that the government did not show in Witt’s specific case how unit cohesion would be hurt by her presence. Its ruling sends her case back to the federal district court in Seattle that had ruled in the military’s favor in 2006. Witt, who served as a Reservist for 18 years and was a major at the time of her dismissal, is now a physical therapist for the Spokane School District. Despite the court’s application to the Witt case alone, some see this ruling as a victory for opponents of policy borne during the early Clinton Administration.