Lufkin woman shares 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' experience

Miranda "Mandy" Demoines
Miranda "Mandy" Demoines

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Miranda "Mandy" Demoines shared her story about being discharged from the work she loved because of her sexual orientation.

She said she spent the first three years after graduating from high school in northern Michigan doing a whole lot of nothing.

"I was pretty much bored with my life and I wanted to try something new," said Demoines.

She woke up one morning in 2004 with a new purpose.

"I said I'm going to join the military today," said Demoines.

She joined the army, and in 2006 was deployed to Iraq.  She spent more than a year working on satellite communications.

"It's a whole different world over there. You think you can prepare for it, but you really never can," said Demoines.

In December of 2007, Mandy's tour ended, and she returned to Fort Hood in Killeen. Just a couple weeks later, she was summoned to her commander's office.

"I was told I was under investigation for homosexual acts," said Demoines.

She said she knew what had sparked it.  She'd been dating a woman whose ex-husband was stationed with her at Fort Hood.

"He didn't like it so he went to my chain of command and turned me in," said Demoines.

Then, the intrusive investigation began. She said it took months,"it was like I was looking over my shoulder trying to make sure that I wasn't being followed by somebody."

Ultimately, she was discharged, and devastated.  It was hard to believe that she was being fired from the work she loved, just because she was gay.

Now, that's coming to a end thanks to a vote by the senate to repeal the policy.

"I think it's a big step in the history for the gay community," said Demoines.

Demoines believes those who don't agree with gays serving in the military are in a for a surprise saying, "when people start to come out because there's a lot more people than they think that are gay in the military."

The senate's decision impacts her life too since she plans to re-join the army and fight for her country once again.

"I will do it. I don't care if it means I go back to Iraq. I don't care if it means I go to Afghanistan. I will join because it's what I love to do," said Demoines.

She thinks a lot of the soldiers discharged because of their sexual orientation will be re-joining too.

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