Wrapping up "Voices of Honor" Tour in West Virginia
May 7, 2010
Last night was our final Voices of Honor event, a quick stop close to DC in Shepherdstown, WV. We arrived early afternoon to plant 700 flags on the Shepherd University campus, each flag representing a service member discharged under DADT who possessed a critical occupation. Every so often a passerby would ask what we were doing, get riled up, plant 20 flags, and leave more educated on DADT than they were just 30 minutes before. This is grassroots in its purest form, and this is why I got into this work in the first place. This is how we effect change. The evening event went just as well as the flag display. We screened ‘Ask Not’ – which remains a very useful educational tool on the issue – and, though I’ve seen the film probably over a hundred times over the past year, I still watch it and remember the first few days, weeks, months, and years of activism on the issue. We knew at the time that Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans were key to repealing DADT, but we didn’t have any clue our method of introducing that piece. We had a theory, and we put it into action. And I like to think our model has proven successful. And here we are. In just a few weeks we’ll know whether repealing DADT will happen this year. I suspect we’ll be pleased with what we discover. Nudging us forward will be the Veterans Lobby Day on Tuesday of next week. Just as important will be the nationwide effort going forward to raise a loud, cacophonous voice that this year, this moment, is the time to do this, and no other. Whatever happens this year, I can feel comfortable telling my brothers and sisters still serving that I put everything I had in me –every spare second and ounce of energy I possessed – into the DADT repeal movement. Part of that task is asking all of you to do the same. We’re not done yet, and we need everything everyone has to offer to ensure this law stays on the book no longer than necessary. See you all on Tuesday.
July 1, 2014