Post submitted by Brian McBride, former HRC Digital Strategist 

Over the weekend, more than 400 LGBTQ service members, military spouses, veterans, and allies attended the Fourth Annual American Military Partner Association (AMPA) Gala -- a record turnout for the Washington, D.C., event.

The mission of the gathering was simple: celebrate and honor America’s courageous LGBTQ modern military families who’ve sacrificed so much in keeping our country safe.

With the strength of more than 50,000 members and supporters, the AMPA is the nation's largest non-profit organization of LGBTQ military and veteran families.

HRC is not only a proud sponsor of the event, but our very own National Press Secretary Stephen Peters -- a Marine veteran and spouse of an active duty Marine -- is also AMPA’s founder and active member of the organization.  

LGBTQ service members who were once forced into the shadows are now able to live openly following the repeal of the harmful “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (DADT) and the end of the transgender military ban. The event served as a reminder to those in attendance of how grateful we are for their service and contributions.

Not only did the celebration honor the remarkable military families for their courage and sacrifice, it also marked the official launch of the organization's new AMPA Military Spouse Scholarship -- a program aimed to help military spouses pursue their higher education goals. Learn more about the program here or apply here. Applications are currently being accepted until June 15, 2017.

Through education, advocacy and support provided by extraordinary organizations like AMPA, LGBTQ military families are not only living openly and proudly, but are able to thrive knowing they have these vital resources to help them with military life.

To learn more about AMPA’s work in helping LGBTQ military families, click here.

Photos courtesy of the American Military Partner Association.

Filed under: Community, Military, Transgender

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