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COL  Margarethe (Grethe) Cammermeyer RN, PhD, USAR, (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 had concurrent careers in VA and Army Reserves and later the 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 in 1992.  She challenged her discharge and in federal court, won and was reinstated.

After Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was implemented in 1993 Colonel Cammermeyer spent 17 years advocating for its repeal. In 2010, she lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the signing ceremony of the repeal of DADT by President Obama in 2010 . 

 

Her story was memorialized by producers Barbra Streisand and Glenn Close (as Colonel Cammermeyer) in made for television movie Serving in Silence (NBC, 1995). Her autobiography Serving in Silence (1994; revised edition 2016) depicts her life and struggles. It is available on Amazon as is the DVD of the movie.  

 

Dr. Cammermeyer retired after 11 years as a hospital commissioner with WhidbeyHealth Medical Center in 2023. Currently her focus is on Engaging Aging as both she and her spouse Diane Divelbess are in their 80's. Home is Whidbey Island where they live with their dog, Bella.

 

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      My Spouse

 

 

 

Diane Divelbess is a printmaker and painter.  Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, she did her undergraduate work at Scripps College and her MFA at Claremont Graduate School (now University). She was on faculty at Cal Poly University for 27 years, chaired the Art Department for eight years,   and now a Professor Emeritus.  She is past president and life member of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society of California. She has exhibited primarily in California and Whidbey Island, WA.

For the past 29 years Diane has been active in the Whidbey Island Arts Council, the Working Artists Open Studio Tours and the Whidbey Island Fair Association. She is past chair of the Langley Arts Commission and currently is active with the Langley Arts Fund to promote public art, making Langley a cultural gem of the Pacific Northwest.

Diane's art can be seen on her web site.

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