AVER Members and Supporters,
In this New Year I wish to thank you for placing your trust in me to lead AVER. Leadership of AVER is something that we must all work together to achieve our mutual goals. We are considering several issues of great importance to our organization in the coming year.
We must understand and work on the critical issues we have remaining before us and reach out to new members with those goals. They include: the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to help insure equal job opportunities for our veterans and our community; the right of Transgenders to serve our country; ensuring the rights we won in a long hard battle to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell are in fact extended to our Active Duty Service Members; and expanding the services of the Veterans Administration to all our LGBT Veterans.
Of course, we cannot forget the continuing work to obtain the freedom to marry in all 50 states. I am truly proud of our recent victory in my home state before the Supreme Court of New Mexico, not to forget those in New Jersey and Utah. Eighteen States now permit gay marriage, however 32 still deny that basic right to us. Those of us who are fortunate to live in those 18 states, must now support those who live in the remaining 32. It will be a difficult fight and we can and should be leaders among our many allies in those fights.
I ask that you plan efforts in your local chapters to make all of this happen and to extend our support to new members in your chapter and across our country. Just as in the fight against DADT, small victories across our country will add up to a National win for us all. Hard coordinated work will make it happen sooner, rather than later.
I wish to you and each of us the best for a challenging, safe and prosperous New Year.
Veterans Proudly serving since Valley Forge!
LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)
American Veterans for Equal Rights