Published May 15, 2010
A student who received a full-ride ROTC scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may now owe the Army nearly $80,000 for the money it put toward her tuition and books after coming out as a lesbian.
Sara Isaacson was notified in March that she was being discharged for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” after informing the head of the university’s ROTC program of her sexual orientation in a formal memo, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
Along with the notice was a recommendation that she repay the $79,265.14 the government spent on her education, the paper reported.
Isaacson says keeping her sexual orientation a secret would put her at odds with one of the Army’s key virtues.
"I didn't feel like I could be a good officer if I didn't have integrity," she told the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Lt. Col. Monte Yoder, head of the university's Army ROTC program, said Ms. Isaacson would never have had to talk about her sexual orientation at all.
"I was very clear with Miss Isaacson about that," he told the Chronicle. "I told her I won't ask."
Army officials have yet to issue a final decision on whether she will need to repay the money, the paper reported.