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Naval Academy Recognizes Husband of Late Alum

Naval Academy Recognizes Husband of Late Alum


Mark Ketterson said that having a marriage license made all the difference last year when he told the U.S. Naval Academy that his husband, John Fliszar, a member of the class of '71, had died.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on Fliszar, a Marine aviator and Vietnam veteran who died from a heart attack in July and wanted to have his ashes interred near the USNA cemetery in Annapolis, Md.

Ketterson contacted the memorial coordinator at the school, who asked for a marriage license. He and Fliszar were married in Iowa, and the widower believes that fact prompted the USNA to give an "amazing" response to the request.

In addition to a standard military funeral for Fliszar in October, the USNA alumni magazine published an obituary and noted that he was "survived by his husband, Mark Thomas Ketterson."

"The word 'husband' in the obituary has created a bit of a stir," said Ketterson, a Chicago social worker, according to the Sun-Times. "I've heard from a number of officers. It's been amazing. This has not been absolutely confirmed, but I think I'm the first legal same-sex spouse who planned a memorial."

Read more here.

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