Troops march in SD gay parade – in uniform

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Some of
the loudest cheers at San Diego's gay pride parade were for active-duty
troops marching in military dress.

Saturday's celebration
marks the first time U.S. service members are participating in a gay
pride event while decked out in full uniform. Dozens of soldiers,
sailors, and Marines marched alongside an old Army truck festooned with a
“Freedom to Serve” banner and a rainbow flag. They were joined by
dozens more military personnel marching in civilian clothes.

Spectators waved signs reading, “Thank you for your service.”

Commander Kent Blade, who
will retire this fall after 26 years in the Navy, said being able to
march in uniform was a perfect culmination of his career.

The Defense Department said
it was making the allowance for the San Diego parade because organizers
had encouraged military personnel to march in their uniform and the
event was getting national attention.

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2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
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