Summer and Celeste are both from a small town in Ohio called Centerville, about an hour south of Columbus.  Celeste recently enlisted in the Army, and Summer is a home health aide for individuals with MRDD, as well as a full time nursing student.

As a new military family with a brand new baby girl, they are learning to deal with the challenges of military life, and it has had its ups and downs already. Summer said, “It is really hard being away from the person you love for so long with little to no contact.  However, I feel like the distance has made the relationship stronger and has allowed us to connect on a whole difference level.”

Even though the military life brings about a lot of uncertainties about their future, Summer couldn’t be more proud of Celeste and believes her joining the Army was the best decision for their family.    They are also learning early on the stuggles they face as a same sex couple.  Summer pointed out that, “If the military recognized our family and granted us the same benefits as heterosexual families, it would make life so much easier for both of us.  I would love to be able to have the security of knowing that our daughter is considered a dependent of my partner and would receive dependent benefits.”

They are also concerned with what the future holds in terms of having to move to various duty stations around the country and the world.  Summer says, “A change in law or policy would give me and our daughter the ability to go with Celeste whether she is stationed stateside or overseas.  There are so many needed changes that would impact our family.”