DENVER (CBS4) – An openly gay woman is making good on a promise she made to herself and wants to encourage others to never give up.

Luiza Fritz, of Denver, was discharged from the Army in 2008 for being gay due to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy after almost 14 years of service. Since the repeal of the policy in 2011 it has taken Fritz about a year to rejoin the Army once again.

She rejoins the Army as a segeant on Monday and is celebrating by hosting a party to mark the event for family and friends in Denver this weekend.

Fritz says she’s ready and willing to go back into combat if necessary. She maintains that being gay and in the Army doesn’t matter.

“I didn’t want to get out in the first place. I didn’t feel that I deserved what I got. I felt like it was a punishment,” Fritz told CBS4. “I always wanted back in. I wanted to finish my career.”

Since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s repeal, Fritz has continued to show her support for the men and women fighting in the military. That included marching in Denver’s Veteran’s Day parade last year.

She isn’t sure what to expect when she joins the military once again, but Fritz said she plans to be professional and doesn’t expect she’ll be making a big issue out of her sexuality.

“I don’t think I need to be putting the uniform back on, going in and saying ‘Hi I’m a lesbian. Hi I was discharged waving that flag,’ ” Fritz said. “We can go back in, put the uniform on, nobody has to know.”

Fritz has been working as a construction worker during the years since her discharge. She returns to the military with the same rank she had when she was discharged.


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