Category Archives: General Info

In Memory of Chief Donovan

James P. DonovanChief Jim Donovan, former National President of American Veterans for Equal Rights, has died at the age of 74.  Chief Donovan served longer on AVER’s national board than almost any other officer.  Chief retired from the United States Navy with over 20 years of service.  His legacy is the right of LGBT patriots to serve in the United States Armed Forces, a freedom for which he fought for many years.  Fair winds and following seas Chief Donovan.  We love you.

To View his Obituary and leave a message to his family and Partner of over 40 years David you can click here: James Patrick Donovan donovan-jim

For more information about the legacy Chief Donovan leaves behind please find the GMS article Denny Meyer wrote about him in 2007, with lots of quotes directly from him.  See the article at

Letter to Membership

November 20, 2016

Fellow Veterans, Service Members, Families and Allies,  

Our nation has experienced a contentious and divisive election. American Veterans for Equal Rights shares your concern that the rights we fought for and won must now be defended.

AVER fought for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell which ended the nearly century old ban against open Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual service. LGBT Americans gained national marriage equality, a freedom only dreamed of a decade ago. Our United States military opened combat positions to women, and in only the past month we saw the ban against Transgender service lifted.

AVER shares your concern that these victories are in jeopardy under a new administration hostile to our community. Those who have endured the investigations and disgrace of being discharged from our careers, who have survived the tragedy of AIDS, who have endured the denial of our relationships and the dishonoring of our families and our service, share your fears. We share a common resolve that, WE ARE NOT GOING BACK. 

Last week AVER reached out to the Trump Administration to offer our services as the nation’s LGBT Veterans Service Organization. Like many of you, we are deeply wary of this change, but we must live, and where necessary, fight in this new world. We have a Constitutional obligation to respect the office of President and a moral obligation to ensure the holder of that office is the leader of and for all Americans, not just a few.

We will continue our vigilance. We resolve never to rest as long as our rights are threatened. Our vigilance is not unfounded. Only last week the VA reversed its promise to provide gender correction surgery to heal our transgender veterans.   Our fear is real. Our fight is not over. We have come this far together. Together, we will defend the liberties we hold so precious, and we will strive to secure them for future generations of LGBT Americans. AVER, locally and nationally, will remain a safe, respectful and supportive place for all of us.

Your service, your skills, and your support, are needed today in this critical mission. Stand with us, and defend our freedoms for our fellow veterans and heroes yet to come. The need is as great now as it has ever been. Thank you for your continued support and alliance. 

On behalf of your National Board, 

Veterans Proudly serving since Valley Forge


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

Words from AVER President over recent Tragic NEWS

Like many of us, I sat stunned in recent hours as the news of the death of two more black men in Louisiana and Minnesota was followed in quick order with the assassination of five Dallas Police officers and wounding of several more.  I extend personally and on behalf of American Veterans for Equal Rights my regrets at this bloodshed across our country and our prayers for all those killed and wounded, their families and friends. 

We cannot allow this thoughtless violent tit for tat to continue.  We must find an equitable resolution to the treatment of our black citizens, we must expect and make possible fair policing of our neighborhoods even as many police forces work to do so.  We must find a sensible way to judge who can and who cannot have deadly weapons, particularly those weapons of war. 

Finally, Congress cannot continue to fiddle while the burning of Rome may be beginning.  The senselessness of recent violence from many sources across our country is exceeded only by the blind in fighting of Senators and Representatives who represent our people continues on Capitol Hill.  We can only hope that those citizens and representatives of the people find a middle ground and proceed to make our country safer for all our citizens.  God Bless those who take that initiative. 

Stay safe. 

Veterans Proudly serving since Valley Forge!   

Steve Loomis

LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)

National President

American Veterans for Equal Rights







AVER Elects Board at National Convention


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 23, 2016 Albuquerque

Contact: AVER Public Affairs, Denny Meyer 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.

COL Cammermeyer to Receive Matlovich Medal



March 17, 2016

RE: Cammermeyer to Receive Matlovich Medal

Contact:  AVER Public Affairs, Denny Meyer 718.849.5665 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!


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