Yesterday at a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery Brigadier General Tammy Smith, US Army, became the first openly LGB general in United States history. General Smith’s wife, Tracey Hepner, co-founder of Military Partners and Families Coalition, pinned her wife’s first star to her shoulder.
You made this happen.
Earlier this year I had the honor of attending the Pentagon’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month commemoration. Two years ago they were firing us. Now they are honoring our service.
You made that happen.
AVER was the only organization able to go into the Pentagon and talk to members of the military as proud former members of the military who supported the military’s mission and wanted the help the armed forces be more successful. Only veterans could have established that level of trust with members of the military who were vital to supporting the decision to lift the ban.
And only veterans who have experienced the hardships of war and overcome the injuries of PTSD can help recent vets do the same.
You have made history. You have made a difference. And you can still help to build a stronger military, insure equality for transgender service members, demand equality for LGBT military families, support the VA in helping all veterans, and extend a caring hand to welcome home our young vets returning from service overseas.
Your membership in AVER is important, and your service to our country is still needed. Please renew your membership today. We need your help.
There is still history to be made. Be there.
Danny Ingram, National President
American Veterans for Equal Rights