TX Military Couple Looks to their Future

Kalynn & Courtney Tindall-Diehl • Harker Heights, TX

When Kalynn Tindall-Diehl and Courtney Tindall-Diehl first moved to Texas, Kalynn wasn’t exactly sure how she felt about the state. “Talk about culture shock,” she remembered, referencing the fact that they had both lived in New York up until then. But they quickly grew to love their new home. They recently purchased a house together in Harker Heights, and they can’t wait to continue to establish a life there.

The couple met in college in New York in 2008 and began dating shortly after. Dating in college was rough, as they were both incredibly ambitious students. “Courtney did ROTC, was a varsity athlete, and maintained her grades in nursing school while I played a couple Junior Varsity sports, worked three jobs, and eventually graduated with honors,” Kalynn said. Despite the demands of their busy lives, they spent as much time as they could together.

After college, Courtney decided to join the Army by becoming an Army Nurse. “I love helping people, and I come from a military family,” she said. “I have so much respect for a person who is willing to die for not only my freedom, but our country’s as well, so I wanted to do my part. I joined because I knew I would be able to do what I love to do, which is help people and take care of soldiers and their families at the same time.”

“Being treated as a second-class citizen has a whole new meaning when you become one solely because of the person you love."

In 2012, Courtney was preparing to go on active duty, and Kalynn proposed. “I can honestly say that I have truly found my soul mate,” Kalynn said. “It has been nothing short of wonderful.” The couple agreed to wait until June of this year to get married in Altona, New York.

Right now, their family consists of the two of them and two adorable dogs. However, they’re hoping that soon they’ll expand. “Courtney and I are planning to get pregnant next summer and cannot wait to have children,” Kalynn said. “We would like to have two to three children, each of us at least having one, with the same donor. We are considering fostering or adopting another.”

This planning, while exciting and joyous, also worries Kalynn as she considers the difficulties their life presents – namely, that Texas does not respect their marriage. Although the U.S. Army began respecting their marriage after the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in 2013, Kalynn still worries what would happen to them when Courtney is no longer on active duty, stripping them of many of the benefits that the Army gives to married couples. She worries how not being married could affect their rights to their future children, and that’s terrifying.

The couple is hopeful that soon, they will see a change in their state. “The feeling that I would have if we had the freedom to marry in Texas is indescribable,” Kalynn said. “I would be more than elated to live here, be proud to live here, and even more excited to raise my children in a state where I know their rights would be protected.”

But every day that couples like Courtney and Kalynn are denied the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage, they are hurt. “Courtney serves our country and takes care of our soldiers and their families, and yet the state of Texas won’t take care of hers,” Kalynn pointed out. “Being treated as a second-class citizen has a whole new meaning when you become one solely because of the person you love, and the place you call home, the place you speak so highly of, does not care whether or not you have equal rights.”