America: Winter 2015

2006-2015  Gay Military Signal

Monument to
LGBT Veterans

at the
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

by James Darby

A magnificent monument honoring the service of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender veterans is to be dedicated on Memorial Day at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Chicago.  This will be the first monument in a National VA cemetery dedicated solely to LGBT veterans by LGBT veterans. 

In 2011 members of the Chicago Chapter of American Veterans For Equal Rights decided that it was time for a Monument to the Service of LGBT veterans to be built and placed in a National Veterans Cemetery.  Over the last 3 years AVER member Stan Jenczyk worked tirelessly to bring it to reality.   The design and the plans were placed before the membership.  A final design was agreed upon, and Stanley brought the plans out to the Director of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.  It has been a long and arduous journey.  After four long years of negotiations the design was accepted.

The monument will be placed in a Valley of Monuments with more than a dozen other monuments dedicated to veterans organizations.  All monuments are limited to a height of four feet. This will be the first monument in a National VA cemetery dedicated solely to LGBT veterans by LGBT veterans.


On the Cusp of
Marriage Equality
in America

Long ago when I was still a soldier boy, I had a husband, much beloved.  Not that we were actually married; that was beyond imagination back then.  As far as we were concerned, we didn't need any damn piece of paper to keep us together.  We had our love and our insatiable passion for each other even after two decades together.  We'd worked out all the pragmatic domestic details without having any official document declaring our bond.  We shared all the household expenses, we went shopping together; he cooked, fabulously; and I washed the dishes.  We talked, we argued, then we went to bed and slept wrapped around each other, feeling ever so safe in each other's arms.  It was as simple as that.

Of course, it wasn't that simple at all.  For one thing, he was what bureaucrats called 'a resident alien.'  He was perfectly legal, he had a green card and was, in fact, a corporate executive.  But, at any time, some bigoted bureaucrat could have decided that he didn't deserve to live here and deported him.  How would I have been able to live without him!  And, of course, I was a Sergeant First Class in the US Army with a lot of responsibility, respect, and a security clearance.

LGBTQ female vets, deployed after 911, sought for research survey

Gay Veterans Voice

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See Sgt Denny on YouTube: Nov 2011
See Sgt Denny on YouTube: Dec 2010

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