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Gay veteran, 82, receives honorable discharge after Army kicked him out

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An 82-year-old Ohio veteran has received an honorable discharge a half century after the Army kicked him out for being gay.

Donald Hallman of Columbus requested a reversal of his 1955 "undesirably" discharged status after President Barack Obama repealed the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" rule in 2010.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, helped Hallman obtain the update. Brown says an estimated 100,000 Americans have been discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation since World War II and often lost benefits they had earned.

Brown co-sponsored federal legislation to help service members discharged solely due to their sexual orientation correct their military records and receive reinstated benefits.

Hallman served from 1953 to 1955 and was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany.

In September, Hallman told the New York Times that he hid his sexual orientation "because it would have ruined my life."

In a YouTube video posted by Stonewall Columbus, Hallman said that he was discharged shortly after an encounter with a man on the sidewalk of Frankfurt.

"I was on an airplane back to New York and discharged almost immediately," Halllman said. "Just bang, bang, bang... no explanation, no conversation, no nothing."

Hallman said he eventually married and had three children.

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