COL Margarethe (Grethe) Cammermeyer RN, PhD, USA, ret, immigrated with her family from Norway to the USA. She joined the Army at 19 years of age. After college at University of Maryland, she went on active duty as Army nurse serving in Germany, the US and Vietnam. While in Germany she married fellow officer with whom she had four sons divorcing after 15 years. She continued her education earning a Master’s and PhD from University of Washington. She ad concurrent careers in VA and Army Reserves and National Guard.
In 1988, as part of military security clearance she disclosed she was a lesbian. By regulation, homosexuality was incompatible with military service. Colonel Cammermeyer was discharged from the military after 25 year. She challenged her discharge and in federal court, won and was reinstated. Her story was memorialized by producers Barbra Streisand and Glenn Close (as Colonel Cammermeyer) in made for television movie Serving in Silence (NBC, 1995). After Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was implemented in 1993 Colonel Cammermeyer spent 17 years advocating for its repeal. She lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the signing ceremony of the repeal by President Obama in 2010 . Her autobiography Serving in Silence (2016) depicts her life and struggles and is available on Amazon as is the DVD of the movie.
Dr. Cammermeyer is currently a hospital commissioner with WhidbeyHealth Medical Center. She lives on Whidbey Island with her spouse Diane Divelbess and two dogs..
The Cammermeyer and Divelbess Whidbey Family
Grethe and Diane have lived on Whidbey Island since the 1995. Grethe remains involved with health care as Hospital Commissioner and member of Board of Health.
Diane is a retired art professor and artist. She remains active in the art community on the Langley Art Commission and Island County Fair. She is also active in St. Augustine in the Woods, Episcopalian Church.
A rescue dog from a family that didn't have time to care for her. Diane and Bella are inseparable.
Rescued from a puppy mill he went from being one of 31 dogs to big (younger) brother to Diane's lap dog.