After 19 years of service as a flight nurse, Margaret Witt has filed an injunction in U.S. District Court in Seattle suing the military for suspending her for being a lesbian.

The case challenges the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which band openly gay personnel from serving.

Ms Witt, who has won medals for her conduct during her 19 year career, and has served in the heart of the conflict in Afghanistan, said: “My objective really is to go back to my unit, serve my country and help the injured troops that need.”

Ms Witt was chosen to be on a recruitment poster for the Air Force, which read “Air force nursing makes a difference”. Though Witt have never mentioned her sexuality, according to court documents, air force officials received a tip off in the Summer of 2004, Air Force officials began an investigation into Ms Witt’s personal life, and her 6 year relationship with a civilian woman.

Following this, the Air Force ruled that Witt was “ineligible” for service and “could no longer earn pay points towards a retirement pension”.

Ms Witt, now a physical therapist, said that she had been devastated by the news: “my unit is my family”.