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22 December 2011

Praise: Barack Obama -- One Year Anniversary of Repeal of DADT

Today the White House sent out a note commemorating the signing of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT).

The e-mail included links to the following videos:

Until her retirement in 2007, Retired Navy Commander Zoe Dunning was one of the only openly gay service members in the country, having successfully fought an attempted discharge in 1993.  For many of those years, she served on the board of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network as an advocate for the repeal of DADT. 

Retired Staff Sergeant Eric Alva joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he was 19 years old.  He served honorably for 13 years until 2003, when he became the first American soldier wounded in Iraq.  SSgt Alva was subsequently medically retired, and for his heroism, received a Purple Heart.

Retired Colonel Grethe Cammermeyer , RN, PhD, is a Vietnam Veteran and Bronze Star recipient who spent much of her life advocating against the original ban on gays in the military and later against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  Her autobiography, “Serving in Silence,” was recognized by the National Education Association and later made into an Emmy Award winning movie starring Glenn Close and produced by Barbra Streisand.  Today, Col. Cammermeyer also serves on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).

Former Army Captain Jonathan Hopkins graduated at the top of his West Point class and was deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan, earning three Bronze Stars, including one for valor.  Fourteen months after being outed, he was honorably discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in August 2010.

Former Army Captain Sue Fulton graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1980 – the first class to include women.  Today, she is the Executive Director of Knights Out – an organization of West Point LGBT alumni, staff, and faculty – and she also serves as a Member of the West Point Board of Visitors.

The White House offers the LGBT updates upon request.
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It is a great pleasure to share the videos of these American heroes.  Many thanks to President Obama for keeping his promise on DADT.

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