FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Another post-“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” milestone was reached this week as Ashley Broadway — the same-sex spouse of Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack — was named by Military Spouse Magazine as Fort Bragg “Military Spouse of the Year.”
The title is bestowed by the magazine based on votes of members of the community at the military installation in which their spouse is assigned. The civilian public is also invited to vote for friends, relatives and neighbors, according to the posted rules. This is the first year that Military Spouse Magazine expanded the contest to include a winner for each American military installation, making Broadway Fort Bragg’s first official base-level “Spouse of the Year.”
The honor came on the same day Broadway was informed she was vested with full membership in the Association of Bragg Officer Spouses after months of battling rules that denied her inclusion. With Broadway’s admission, the association announced membership rule changes to include a spouse of any gender with a valid marriage certificate. If that wasn’t enough, last week Broadway’s wife Mack gave birth to the couple’s second child, a baby girl.
“I’m pleased, I’m happy,” Broadway told ABC affiliate, WJLA. “As soon as things calm down with the baby, I want to get involved. I hate that it took so long for them to come to this conclusion. But I think things happen for a reason. I’m a very devout Christian. I’ve had faith in God this whole time. I think if anything it’s brought up a larger issue: We have two classes of service members and how they’re… not treated equally.”
“Today’s announcement that Ashley Broadway will represent the military spouses at Ft Bragg and be among those eligible to be named national military spouse of the year only underscores how out of touch many of our military leaders are with the communities and the nation they serve,” Allyson Robinson, executive director of LGBT military advocacy group, OutServe-SLDN, said in a statement, noting that Broadway’s title was bestowed upon her by her peers. “It is past time for the Pentagon to catch up and honor the service and sacrifice of all military families.