VA allows first same-sex burial
(CNN) — (CNN) --
In what's believed to be the first case of its kind, the same-sex spouse of a member of the military will be buried in a national cemetery.
"I am deeply grateful to my country for honoring and respecting my years of service and my relationship with Nancy, the love of my life," said retired Lt. Col. Linda Campbell, a veteran.
"Willamette National Cemetery is a beautiful, peaceful place. Knowing that Nancy and I can join my parents on that hallowed ground is a source of great comfort and healing," she said.
Nancy Lynchild, Campbell's partner, died in December of metastatic cancer.
The cemetery is located southeast of Portland, Oregon.
The Department of Veterans Affairs released a statement, saying Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki used his discretionary authority in the case.
"This was the first non-Veteran partner of the same gender he was asked to consider, this is the first he has approved. It's important to note that the Secretary did not base his decision on the individual's marital status or state recognized relationship status, but rather based it, in part, on evidence of a committed relationship between the individual and the Veteran," it read.
His decision applies just to Campbell and Lynchild; it does not represent an official change in policy.