By Drew Brooks, The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
Jan. 26--A lesbian wife of a Fort Bragg soldier was named the installation's military spouse of the year through a voting competition.
Ashley Broadway is not recognized as a spouse under federal law, and she recently was denied official membership in a Fort Bragg officers' spouses organization.
But her selection in the competition by Military Spouse magazine was praised by advocates for gays and lesbians, who say it underscores the need for the federal government to extend full benefits to same-sex couples.
Broadway, the wife of Lt. Col. Heather Mack of Fort Bragg's 1st Theater Sustainment Command, will represent Fort Bragg in the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year competition.
Broadway will be pitted against winners from other Army installations.
Online voting on Feb. 5 at msoy.militaryspouse.com will decide who will be the Army-wide spouse of the year.