Author Archives: James Apedaile

LGBT Veterans Stand with Orlando

AMERICAN VETERANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

June 15, 2016

An Open Letter LGBT Veterans Stand with Orlando
America was assaulted early Sunday morning as at least 49 members of our LGBT and allies community in Orlando, Florida were killed and 53 more injured in an eruption of violence against the gay community. “We all hurt because part of our community is in pain. The members of American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) served our country to help protect it from senseless terrorism such as this. As veterans and active duty service members we go in harm’s way serving to protect our country, then come home only to be assaulted and cut down in our most important and representative time of the year, Pride Month,” stated Army Vietnam veteran Lieutenant Colonel Steve Loomis, National President of AVER. AVER is America’s first and oldest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender veterans and active duty service organization.

“In a society where diversity is our destiny and our greatest strength, the hateful and divisive attitudes that have become the hallmark of political and religious rhetoric in recent years must stop. There is no justification for mass murder or those who promote it,” stated AVER President Emeritus Danny Ingram, an Army veteran.

It is an attack on every American and the multi-colored fabric that is the core of who we are as a people. All lives matter, and hateful rhetoric, regardless of how it is justified or camouflaged, ultimately leads to the type of mass murder that we have witnessed in Orlando. We have all lost because of this horrible crime and AVER calls upon every American to question the prejudiced and hurtful attitudes that demonize entire groups of people and ultimately create a destructive rationale that leads to the murder of our fellow citizens.

America succeeds by valuing and respecting the inherent dignity of every human being, not by tearing down or eliminating groups who are different. We are angry veterans as we lost one of our own citizen soldiers in Orlando and angry citizens because the hurt spreads across our country. We join as one in mourning this act of evil against our community and nation. We strengthen our common resolve to build bridges of tolerance and understanding across our country united from sea to sea as our forefathers wished.

As these cowering shadow people encourage hatred and condone violence against American citizens for whatever reason, they violate our rights, our persons and our space. The hatemongering and divisive political and religious rhetoric must stop. Political and religious leaders who encourage intolerance or acts of violence must be held accountable.

It is America’s destiny to be the most diverse society in the history of the world, extending equal rights, equal respect, and equal responsibility to every citizen. To do otherwise is in no way democracy.

Steve Loomis
LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)
National President
American Veterans for Equal Rights

Danny Ingram
SGT, US Army Veteran
National President Emeritus
American Veterans for Equal Rights

Eric Fanning Confirmed as Secretary of the Army

AMERICAN VETERANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Re:  Eric Fanning Confirmed as Secretary of the Army

Contact: Denny Meyer AVER Public Affairs, publicaffairs@aver.us 718 849-5665

Eric Fanning was confirmed as Secretary of the Army by the US Senate after a considerable delay.  He is eminently qualified, having served as Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy, Undersecretary and Acting Secretary of the Air Force, and has been on the job serving as Acting Secretary of the Army for nearly a year.  The fact that he is openly gay is nearly irrelevant except for LGBT Americans and particularly LGBT soldiers in the US Army who now know that they have the support of someone who knows who they are.

The immediate 8 month delay since he was appointed by President Obama was reportedly to due politics rather than prejudice.  The more than 200 year delay in American history is more significant.  He has become the highest ranking known gay American armed forces official and first known openly gay Secretary in our armed forces.  It was not that long ago that simply being gay was grounds for dishonorable dismissal from our armed forces.  And yet, gay patriots have served our nation since the Revolutionary War, starting with LTGEN Friedrich Von Steuben who trained the Continental Army and wrote the original Rules of Order and Discipline which evolved into the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  We have a proud history.  Mr. Fanning now takes his well-deserved place therein.

AVER President, LTC Steve Loomis, US Army Retired, stated, “We welcome Eric Fanning as the new Secretary of the Army.  He can now proceed with leading the Army in a very important time.  His leadership will undoubtedly be effectively for all members of our Army.  We wish him and the Army the very best.”

American Veterans For Equal Rights is America’s first national LGBT veterans’ service organization advocating for the rights and benefits of LGBT veterans and service members since 1990 –  www.aver.us

 

AVER Elects Board at National Convention

AMERICAN VETERANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 23, 2016 Albuquerque

Contact: AVER Public Affairs, Denny Meyer publicaffairs@aver.us 718 849-5665

Re. AVER Elects Board at National Convention

American Veterans for Equal Rights, America’s first national organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender armed forces veterans, held its biennial convention in the high desert splendor of Albuquerque New Mexico, electing a board to carry on its mission advocating and defending the rights and benefits of LGBT patriotic service members and veterans.

LTC Steve Loomis, US Army, retired, was reelected as President. Chief Julz Carey, US Coast Guard, retired, was reelected as Vice President.  Former Sergeant Danny Ingram was reelected as Treasurer, and former Staff Sergeant, James Apedaile, US Army, Retired was elected as Secretary. 

AVER’s five national regions elected Regional Vice Presidents: Former Sergeant First Class Denny Meyer in Region 1 –Northeastern US, Former Staff Sergeant, James Apedaile US Army, Retired in Region II –Southern US, former Petty Officer James Darby in Region III –Midwestern US, MAJ Dorothy Seaton, USA, Retired, Region IV –Southwestern US, and CPO Nick Jackman, USCG, Retired in Region V –Western US and HI. Denny Meyer was reappointed as national Public Affairs and Veterans Affairs Officer; Penn Baker remains national Transgender Veterans Liaison; and Patrick Bova remains as national Archivist.

The Keynote speaker at the convention was USAF Reserve General Patricia Rose; and the recipient of the Leonard Matlovich Medal was Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, US Army, retired.

Further details about the convention will be issued shortly in a full report.

NC, Mississippi Laws Hurt LGBT Soldiers, Marines

AMERICAN VETERANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2016

RE: NC, Mississippi Laws Hurt LGBT Soldiers, Marines

Contact: AVER Public Affairs, Denny Meyer 718.849.5665 publicaffairs@aver.us

AVER President, Steve Loomis, LTC, USA, (Ret) 505.301.1737

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines, 3rd Marine Regiment (MAR REGT), Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (HI), stand at attention during the 64th commemoration of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, HI. The ceremony held annually to honor those who served during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Date Shot: 7 Dec 2005. DoD photo by: JO2 RYAN C. MCGINLEY, USN.

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines, 3rd Marine Regiment (MAR REGT), DoD photo by: JO2 RYAN C. MCGINLEY, USN.

Atlanta, GA (APR 8, 2016) – American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), the nation’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veterans Service Organization, strongly condemns the discriminatory legislation passed by the North Carolina and Mississippi state legislatures which legalizes the denial of services to the many LGBT United States military personnel and veterans living in those states. Especially in North Carolina, home to the nation’s largest military base, Fort Bragg, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, these laws post a clear message to the honored LGBT Soldiers and Marines stationed in the state that “Your Kind Not Welcome.” The dedicated men and women who serve to defend our nation’s freedom deserve better than laws which undermine the very liberty they so faithfully protect. These laws hurt those who serve, hurt their families, and weaken communities. Such laws are unworthy of a free nation and a united people who value “liberty and justice for all.” 

 

COL Cammermeyer to Receive Matlovich Medal

AMERICAN VETERANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2016

RE: Cammermeyer to Receive Matlovich Medal

Contact:  AVER Public Affairs, Denny Meyer 718.849.5665 publicaffairs@aver.us or AVER President, Steve Loomis, LTC, USA, (Ret) 505.301.1737

Atlanta, GA (MAR 16, 2016) – Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, the highest ranking active officer to challenge the US military’s ban on LGBT service members, will be presented the 2016 Leonard Matlovich Medal for Distinguished Service by American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), the nation’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veterans Service Organization.  The Medal will be presented to Dr. Cammermeyer at AVER’s 25th anniversary national convention to be held April 21-24, 2016, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.   Continue reading

AVER 25th Anniversary National Convention

I want to personally invite you along with all other American Veterans for Equal Rights members to join me at this spring’s

AVER 25th Anniversary National Convention

in Albuquerque/Santa Fe from 21 April to 24 April 2016!

AVERlogo

Now that the holidays are behind us, I encourage each of you to register for our AVER convention.  We are going to have a great convention as we work into AVER’s future and protect the fights we have won.  Maj Gen Patricia Rose, the highest ranking out service member, is our great keynote speaker and Colonel Margerethe Cammermeyer will be presented the Matlovich Award for her service and advocacy on behalf of LGBT veterans and service members.

Continue reading