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A Convention to Remember
"Be a part of history
and involved in Your Future!"

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

Albuquerque, NM - Meet the strength and history of our movement to serve our country openly at the 2016 American Veterans for Equal Rights National Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 21 – 24, 2016.  

You have the opportunity to join a group of amazing and inspiring individuals who provided the leadership, courage, and stamina to win the right to serve our country openly, with pride in our country and in who we are as individuals.   AVER is dedicated to maintaining those rights that were so difficult to win.  We do this for those who now serve and who serve in the future.

Army Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer will be presented AVER’s Leonard Matlovich Award for service. She is the author of "Serving in Silence", and the subject of a movie of the same title.  She is a long-time fighter for our right to serve openly.  When she applied as a senior nurse in 1989 for the Army War College, she was interviewed for a top secret security clearance and asked about her sexual orientation.  In keeping with her integrity, she answered truthfully that she was a lesbian.  Thus began her long successful fight to serve her country.

“Throughout my career and throughout the world there are times when change can be made only by someone stepping forth, being willing perhaps to expose themselves and their vulnerability so that others become aware of the fact that there are differences in the world.  So that people will understand these differences are okay and don’t affect our ability to be part of an organization or to make a contribution.” -- Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer

Air Force Major General Patricia Rose, the highest ranking openly- serving member of the armed services will be the keynote speaker at our convention banquet and will be accompanied by her wife, Navy Lieutenant Julie Roth.

 “It is a great satisfaction to be an authentic leader and not have to hide anything.” -- Maj. Gen. Patricia Rose

The convention will take place in beautiful Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the "Land of Enchantment".  You can be a part of this historic meeting of our community and it will be my distinct honor to introduce you in person to these heroes of the fight to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and to win our right to serve openly and to marry the one we love. 

 Other leaders of our movement will be present and recognized for their invaluable service, including;  Jim Darby, an early President of AVER, Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, first Marine wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom who fought for repeal of DADT, and many more heroes who are planning to attend.

From our host hotel, the Sheraton Airport in Albuquerque, you will also have the opportunity for a guided visit to Santa Fe, the oldest state capitol in the United States, and in Albuquerque to visit the National Nuclear Science Museum, Albuquerque Old Town, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and the LGBT Inclusive Memorial at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park.

We will of course be conducting AVER business as we move into the post-DADT era and continue our work to protect the right to serve openly, to marry whom we love, to open service to transgender patriots and to serve our veterans and today’s active duty service members.  We encourage your participation to help guide AVER into this new and promising future.

 You can attend the convention if you are a member of AVER or an allied organization, on active duty or a member of the reserve components, a veteran, a civilian supporter, or a spouse or military family member.  Registration for the convention and hotel can be made at:

http://www.aver-nm.org/aver-bataan_website_v9_005.htm

I am looking forward to this great meeting with our heroes and your presence among all of us as heroes who have served our country in silence and now proudly serve openly.  Contact me directly at sloomis@swcp.com if you have more questions.

Come!  Join us in April 2016 for a great time!  I'll be there! Will you?

LTC Steve Loomis is the National President of American Veterans for Equal Rights and a founding member of the Bataan Chapter of AVER in New Mexico.  He served in the Infantry in Vietnam then in the Engineers and was decorated with the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals and numerous other awards.  He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico.

2015 GayMilitarySignal