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Join the 2005 Transgender Veterans Memorial Tour: May 20 – 22, 2005

For Immediate Release: April 2, 2005
From: The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
Media Contact: Robyn Walters
Contact Email: media@transveteran.org
president@transveteran.org
Contact Phone: 703 437-6798
Website: http://www.transveteran.org

Join the 2005 Transgender Veterans Memorial Tour: May 20 – 22, 2005

Planning for the second annual transgender veterans ‘March to the Wall’ is nearing completion. It is time for those veterans, friends, family and supporters of transgender equality to firm up their plans, fill out the free on-line event registration, and make their all-important hotel reservations while the special TAVA group rate remains in effect.

“I was humbled by the participation last year,” said Monica Helms, President of TAVA. “To be with so many of my brothers and sisters who wore the uniform of this country’s Armed Forces and to see the healing take place right before my eyes is something I will never forget. There are many more transgender veterans who should be there with us, and I truly hope they join us this year.”

Reservations should be made now at the COMFORT INN DOWNTOWN DC/CONVENTION CENTER, 1201 Thirteenth Street NW, Washington, DC. The hotel is near subway lines, Union Station, the White House, Capitol Hill, national museums, and other sites of interest. Hotel information can be found at http://www.choicehotels.com/ires/hotel/DC601. Reservations for the nights of May 20th and 21st at $109 per night plus tax are best made by calling 202-682-5300 (Fax: 202-408-0830) and asking for the special TAVA rate. Although street parking is possible, hotel valet parking is available for an additional $27 per day.

Besides making hotel reservations, those attending the TAVA March events must preregister at http://transveteran.org/march-to-the-wall/ in order to ensure a place on the chartered buses and at the Saturday dinner. Again, hotel reservations must be made directly with the hotel. TAVA will endeavor to facilitate room sharing, but each person or group must make its own hotel reservations.

Event sign in will begin at 3 pm on Friday, May 20 at the hotel. A reception, hosted by the National Center for Transgender Equality http://www.nctequality.org, will be held from 7 pm to 10 pm.

On Saturday morning, participants will enjoy a free continental breakfast before boarding the bus at 11 am to visit the Vietnam, World War II and Iwo Jima Memorials. Lunch will be at your choice of street vendors near the National Mall. The tour will end at Arlington National Cemetery following an emotional 4:15 pm wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The bus will depart for the hotel at about 5:30 pm. Cocktails will be available at a cash bar beginning at 6:30. Dinner will begin at 7:30 pm, followed by remarks by fellow veterans and GLBT community leaders.

Planning for the 2006 transgender veterans gathering will begin over Sunday breakfast as old friends and new say their goodbyes.

Join TAVA and fellow transgender veterans in this opportunity for healing from the many wounds of war and of life. Now is the time to make it happen. Find details and schedule updates via event links at http://www.transveteran.org. If you still need more information, contact Angela Brightfeather at president@transveteran.org.

To become a TAVA member, sign up at http://transveteran.org/membership-account/membership-levels/.

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The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) acts proactively with other concerned GLBT organizations to ensure that transsexual and transgendered veterans will receive appropriate care for medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration Customer Service Standards promise to “treat you with courtesy and dignity … as the first class citizen that you are.” Further, TAVA will help in educating the VA and the US military on issues regarding a fair and equal treatment of transgendered and transsexual individuals. TAVA will also educate for a change in public law and policy that will help initiate this fair and equal treatment.

Denny Meyer

Sgt. First Class Denny Meyer, the son of WWII Holocaust refugees, was reared bilingually in the mid 1940s postwar immigrant refugee community on New York City ‘s Upper West Side . His mother, he notes with pride, arrived at Ellis Island as an illegal alien fleeing Nazi persecution. She taught him that, “there is nothing more precious than American Freedom.”

He has been an activist for over 50 years, starting with his first march with the NAACP at the age of 13 in 1960, working for civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights and transgender rights for our military service members and veterans.

In 1968 he volunteered, “To pay my country back for my family’s freedom.” He served for ten years in two services; in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier, in a Huey helicopter squadron HQ, at NATO US headquarters; and in specialized Army Reserve units; and served as an inter-agency liaison and negotiator.

Sgt. Denny has spoken at universities and colleges including Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Hofstra, and Lehman (CUNY) among other venues; combining history, humor, pathos, and anger to tell his story.

In addition to serving as TAVA’s Media Director, he is the national Public Affairs and Veterans Affairs officer of AVER and edits GayMilitarySignal.com.

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