The chaplain’s memo seems to begin and end with a commitment to honoring LGBT service members and their families…yet some of the guidance issued seems to alienate some LGBT couples based on the sole discretion of various endorsing agencies.
Explaining the past is difficult for anyone who is transgender. Stories of playing softball for your alma mater become blended with your brother’s experiences playing baseball so you don’t “out” yourself as transgender. Explaining how you busted your knee in high school football becomes a story about playing a powderpuff pick-up game with friends.
Eagle Scout with Silver Palm
Air Force medical Service Technician
Member of FEMA’s Disaster Medical Response Team, deployed after hurricanes Allison, Katrina and Rita
Coast Guard Auxiliary Volunteer
Medical services officer on Navy ships deployed six times in eight years
Some people seem born for service, moving through life at the tip of the spear while managing to support the ones around them who need it most. Nicole Shounder is one of those people.
Memorial Day weekend is, first and foremost, about remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It honors the many sacrifices of those who served and who are currently serving. It lifts up families and friends who have lost loved ones to combat and in the line of duty. It recognizes the best our nation had and has to offer.
As we move forward in our fight for full equality in our military, it is important to put faces with names and share the stories of the families being affected by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Our military families are important to us all, as they are the backbone of support to the service member serving to ensure our rights and freedom. OutServe Magazine first met Zachary Evans-Nethers when he volunteered to be on our staff. His ability to manage family life, a full-time job, and volunteer for us, all while pursuing a doctoral degree, amazed us! Zachary is a Captain in the U.S. Army and is married to Marshall. They have two beautiful daughters, Taylor, 11, and Emma, 6, and an adorable dog named Marley. We thank you for your dedication and service!
Last month, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), an advocacy organization for female service members and veterans, held its second annual Truth and Justice Summit in Washington, D.C. The event brought together over 100 advocates, supporters, and sexual assault survivors to advocate for an end to sexual violence in the military. OutServe-SLDN was a proud organizational partner to the summit.
Underneath my cover, I walk a straight line, returning salutes as I pass. A sergeant salutes and says, “Good morning, Sir.”
A warm glow flushes my cheeks, and I reply, “Good morning!” Closer to work a familiar face draws near and salutes; “Good morning, Ma’am.” A heavy feeling of discontent weighs on me, and I return the salute with the grudging reply, “Good morning.”
By Dan Ross
I am married to Lieutenant Gary Ross. He graduated from high school a year early and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1995 at the age of 17. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was already in effect and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) went into effect the following year. After a few years, Gary decided to become an officer and he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He began school in 1998 and I met him on a dating website in 2000. We have been in a committed relationship for over 13 years. Gary graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2002 and his class was the first class to graduate into war after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He has been assigned to several ships and he is currently the Combat Systems Officer on U.S.S. ANCHORAGE (LPD 23) in San Diego.
In the past few months, same sex military partners have been part of the collective American conversation. When the Fort Bragg Spouse’s Club resorted to naked discrimination and active condescension to keep Ashley Broadway out, it was splashed all over the news. When Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta extended as many benefits as possible to married same sex partners under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the LGB community celebrated. When the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of Article III of DOMA, the plight of same sex military couples was front and center in the reasons for striking the law down.