America: October 2014

2006-2013  Gay Military Signal

GayMilitarySignal@yahoo.com

Our Heroes
Part II: Vietnam


by

Denny Meyer

And then came Vietnam.....

When was the last time that you dared to smile at an old gay grumpy Vietnam Vet?  One of my favorite vet baseball caps says, "Dysfunctional Vietnam Veteran, leave alone."  Its one of those funny but sad statements of alternate reality.  Vietnam vets, gay and straight, never got anything.  People cursed them when they came home.  Many had PTSD, but that diagnoses didn't exist back then.  So, our vets had to suck it up and do the best that they could, on their own without group therapy, without legal drugs to calm their nerves, and without the thanks of an ungrateful nation.

Straight and gay vets alike had suffered the horrors of Napalm, Agent Orange, Huey jumping, MPCs, fire, and death all around them.  In addition to all that, gay vets had suffered the very real possibility of being fragged, shot in the back by their own fellow service members, because of who they were.  "Serving in Silence" meant having to hear homophobic jokes and comments all day every day, and not being able to dare say a word about it, and even having to laugh along with every one else, least someone should think you were 'one of them.'

 

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AVER Consults with Senate Dem. Steering and Outreach Committee
by Steve Loomis, LTC, EN
U.S. Army (Ret.), National President
American Veterans for Equal Rights


American Veterans for Equal Rights has again provided input on legislative issues important to LGBT Veterans to members of the United States Senate.  On September 10, 2014, I was invited to represent AVER in a meeting with the US Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee to identify the current legislative issues important to the LGBT veterans community.  AVER's national presence once again insured us a voice at the table for LGBT veterans.

AVER’s most important tasks are Outreach to our veterans, outreach almost to daily to Congress, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, academia, media and other LGBT veteran groups.  We must regularly place our goals and concerns before our local and national agencies.  This is critical to support our veterans.  It is what Danny Ingram as our past President, and Denny Meyer as our public affairs officer have done for many years and what I have now undertaken on your behalf.

In this instance, we met in the Mansfield Room of the Capitol with fifteen Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed; Senator Tammy Baldwin, a military veteran; Senator Coons of DE; Senator Udall of Colorado; and Senator Corey Booker of NJ, among others.

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Gay Veterans Voice

Speaking Engagements Available


History, Humor, Pathos, and Anger

 

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