7 April 2008
New York, NY
American Veterans for Equal Rights joins in mourning with the family and friends of Major Alan G. Rogers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving our nation in Iraq.
Maj. Alan G. Rogers, 40, of Hampton, Fla., died Jan. 27, 2008 when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was conducting a dismounted patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, and Fort Riley, Kansas. Major Rogers was in Iraq on his second tour of duty as a military intelligence officer. He had previously served at the Pentagon, in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and most recently at Fort Riley, Kansas. In Iraq he was serving as part of a team that was embedded with and trained Iraqi soldiers.
In researching for this release, AVER personnel visited Legacy.Com to read the remarks regarding this true patriot. Of special note was the remark by D. Sabocsik of Coatesville, PA, who stated “Maj. Rogers was a stranger to me, but an obvious guardian of our country and for that I thank him. God Bless all that allow my children, my family, and this free country that we live in sleep each and every night.”
In all references to Major Rogers as well as our personal association with him, he is identified as “a friend to all he met!”
However, some he served with didn’t know one side of Major Rogers. He was an untiring champion in the battle for equal rights in addition to being a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Wikipedia states “Major Alan Greg Rogers was an ordained pastor, a US Army Major and Intelligence Officer, a civil rights activist in the gay, lesbian, and bisexual (LGBT) military community and the first known gay combat fatality of Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
While in Washington, he was a firm supporter of his local chapter of AVER, serving as the Treasurer of the DC chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights in 2004. AVER’s mission is to defeat the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and to serve the needs of America’s LGBT servicemembers and veterans.
Ray Allen, a military veteran, the AVER National Vice President stated “The loss of a soldier during war always saddens me; but it also saddens me when a person will give their life to help a country progress, and represents a country that still disregards his sexual orientation, and legally discriminates against him. Simply put, Major Rogers was a true patriot – fighting for freedoms he himself could not truly enjoy. Major Rogers held true to his contract with the United States Military, and he stood proud with all the other men and women serving, just as he stood proud as an American Veteran for Equal Rights member and chapter officer. His sacrifice will not go unseen. Our fight at AVER is to end the discrimination in our armed forces and our efforts will continue until people like Major Rogers can serve openly and be as proud of their country as any other man or women he served side by side with.”
Ron Clarke, a military veteran and the AVER Regional Vice President for the Southwestern United States chapters, said “This is the first documented case of an LGBT soldier falling in the line of duty, but it isn’t truly the first. Over one million veterans through time have been LGBT. Major Rogers was well-respected by all he met and even more respected by his LGBT community for his sacrifice to serve two tours in Iraq and his military career as a soldier. Major Rogers will be remembered by all as a true friend to those close to him, however we at AVER know that he was the purest form of soldier – fighting for equality, democracy and for rights he never fully possessed! Now we must continue our fight in Major Rogers honor and memory – our fight to defeat “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell!”
Major Alan Greg Rogers was interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on March 14, 2008. He rests with his fellow veterans who gave their all to protect the rights of everyone. Please honor this sacrifice by e-mailing or calling your congressional representative and demand that “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell be repealed.
Media Relations Contact:
American Veterans for Equal Rights is a national organization, with local Chapters, advocating the defeat of the “Don’t’ Ask – Don’t Tell” policy. For more information visit the national site at www.aver.us or contact the media relations representative above.