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Originally published July 6, 2011 at 10:00 PM | Page modified July 7, 2011 at 6:45 AM

Obama names lesbian Army vet to West Point board

President Obama has appointed an openly gay Army veteran, Brenda "Sue" Fulton, to the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

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WASHINGTON — President Obama has appointed an openly gay Army veteran, Brenda "Sue" Fulton, to the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York.

Fulton, who will be the board's first openly gay member, graduated from West Point in 1980 as a member of the first class to admit women. She served for five years in the Army Signal Corps and was honorably discharged with the rank of captain.

She is executive director and co-founder of Knights Out, an organization of gay and lesbian West Point graduates and supporters, the Obama administration said in a statement announcing her appointment.

"I'm proud to have the opportunity to support the cadets who will lead our Army in the coming years," Fulton said in a news release issued by OutServe, an association of lesbian and gay military personnel. "And I'm pleased that the president is clearly setting the stage for a post-'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' military with appointments like this. It is my honor to continue to serve the Academy and the Army that I love."

The West Point Board of Visitors, the oldest operating board appointed by the president, is composed of seven members of Congress and six presidential appointees. Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, an Army veteran and a vocal advocate for repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning gays from serving openly in the military, was recently appointed to the board.

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