Stephen Snyder-Hill

Ohio Historical Society
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00:00:03 - Introduction

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Segment Synopsis: Stephen Snyder-Hill was born in Upper Sandusky, Ohio in 1970. He talks about his family and their history of military service. He describes growing up and feeling different and the darkness he felt, but didn't realize at this point he was gay. He discusses his choice to join the Army and His training as a Fire Support Specialist at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

Keywords: 13F - Fire Support Specialist; Family; Fort Sill (Okla.); LGBT; Lawton (Okla.); Upper Sandusky (Ohio)

Subjects: Enlistment; Family; Growing up "different"; Military Heritage; Military training

GPS: Upper Sandusky (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 40.8219623,-83.3341279
GPS: Fort Sill (Okla.)
Map Coordinates: 34.6095004,-98.5553849
00:43:16 - 1st Deployment and the Gulf War

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Segment Synopsis: In 1989 Snyder-Hill was deployed to the Pinder Barracks in Germany. There he made some close friendship and began the process of coming to terms with his sexuality, but was still not fully accepting. He was then sent to Kuwait to fight in the gulf war where his primary position was as a M577 Armored Command Post driver. He talks about his journals that he started writing at the time and unfortunately lost coming back to the states. He describes watching rocket attacks and after surviving a close call swore to himself that he would never deny himself love again. He also shares his trip to a cruise ship the Cunard Princess for some R&R where he got food poisoning and subsequently got lost in Bahrain.

Keywords: Bahrain; Cruise ships - Cunard Princess; Iraq; Journals; Kuwait; M577 - variant of the M113 (Armored personnel carrier); Persian Gulf War, 1991.; Piano; Pinder Barracks; United States. Army. Armored Division, 1st; Zirndorf (Fürth, Germany)

Subjects: Building Friendships; Cruise ship visit and getting lost; Deployment to Germany; Driving the M577; Fighting in the Gulf War; Starting to come to terms with sexuality

GPS: Pinder Barracks - Zirndorf (Fürth, Germany)
Map Coordinates: 49.4394043,10.946499
01:59:05 - Coming Home and Life Outside the Military

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Segment Synopsis: Snyder-Hill talks about his first night back from deployment, coming home, and a story about an electric candle his mother had kept. He was accepted to OSU where he studied to become a dietician. He found a place in the community there and became part of a gay support group, but more than that he started to become an activist for gay rights. He discusses writing a response to a homophobic letter submitted to the Lantern, the OSU college paper, and getting into a fight after having someone use a LGBT-related slur against him. Snyder-Hill talks about his interest in getting back into the military and how that caused problems in his relationships.

Keywords: Activism; Columbus (Ohio); Hazard, Daniel; Ohio State University; Pinder Barracks; Zirndorf (Fürth, Germany)

Subjects: College; Coming home; Finding a accepting Community; Meeting someone special

GPS: Ohio State University
Map Coordinates: 40.0066723,-83.1004924
02:47:39 - Returning to the Army

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Segment Synopsis: Snyder-Hill reenters the military in 2001 and joins the Army Reserve. He talks about his memories of 9/11, going back into the closet to serve, and meeting his future husband. In 2010 he is redeployed to Iraq under don't ask, don't tell. While on leave he marries Josh at the grave of Leonard Matlovich, a former service member and gay rights activist. Snyder-Hill describes how difficult it was to go back to Iraq and how he faced increased scrutiny now that he was married.

Keywords: 65C - Army Dietitian; Blacklick (Ohio); Dietitians; Egypt; Iraq War, 2003-2011.; Matlovich, Leonard; Seattle (Wash.); September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001.; Texas; Tikrīt (Iraq); United States. Army Reserve.; United States. Army. Medical Brigade, 307th

Subjects: Deploying to Iraq; Getting Married on Leave; Going Back into the Closet; Meeting Josh; Memories of 9/11; Reentering the Military

GPS: Tikrīt (Iraq)
Map Coordinates: 34.6143237,43.5983396
03:33:18 - The GOP debate, activism, writing his book, and reflections on service

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Segment Synopsis: At a Republican presidential debate in September of 2011 Snyder-Hill asked the candidates if they became president would they "circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military," by reimposing restrictions on LGBT service members. He talks about about submitting his question and the time leading up to the debate. He describes the response he got from other soldiers after coming out and how it felt. Snyder-Hill discusses joining a lawsuit against the DOD and their regulations relating to the Defense of Marriage Act. He shares about why he wrote his book, taking a group of LGBT couples to get married at the Supreme Court, changing his name, and how his husband supports and leads his activism. Snyder -Hill ends by reflecting on his service and the power of voice.

Keywords: Department of Defense.; Don't ask, don't tell (Military personnel policy); Santorum, Rick, 1958-; Servicemembers Legal Defense Network; Soldier of Change: From the Closet to the Forefront of the Gay Rights Movement; The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); United States. Supreme Court.; Windsor, Edie

Subjects: Lawsuit against the DOD and DOMA; Response to coming out; Submitting a question to the GOP debate; Writing his book

GPS: United States. Supreme Court.
Map Coordinates: 38.8906424,-77.0044398