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Transgender Veterans Elect New Leaders

TAVA, America’s national association of transgender armed forces veterans, elected new leadership for 2015 and set initiatives for coming the year.

President: Evan Young, Major, US Army, Retired, with an extensive background in public affairs and advocacy, is currently the President of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition (ArTEC), and serves on committees of the active duty transgender service members group SPART*A. Among his planned initiatives for 2015 is advocacy for lifting the current Veterans Administration ban on gender reassignment surgery to bring it in line with last year’s revised federal Medicare policy. Taking advantage of the many TAVA board members’ successful military careers, Major Young plans a Mentorship Program to enhance and help guide the patriotic service of today’s current volunteers in America’s armed forces and our veterans. “I am particularly eager to engage the diversity, dedication, and talents of our board and members to affirm the transgender veteran population’s pride both in our service to our nation and in who we are. Our mission and goal is nothing less than enabling and protecting the rights of our service members and veterans,” said Major Young.

Executive Vice President: Sage Fox; Captain Fox is a natural leader and provides key input on strategic planning for TAVA. She currently serves in the Army Individual Ready Reserves, has served on Active Duty for 14 years, and been deployed supporting OEF/OIF operations. “Sage is a passionate leader that will be an outstanding voice for transgender veterans,” President Young stated

Secretary: Jamie Ewing, recently separated from the Army, Jamie is an extraordinary talented veteran that will step up TAVA’s presence with the younger generation. She transitioned while on active duty and was subsequently discharged after five and a half years of honorable service, supporting both OEF and OIF operations. Jamie currently works directly with active duty service members as a defense contractor supporting real time defense efforts as an out transgender woman.

Past President Dayna Walker will continue to serve on the board of directors. The nation is deeply grateful to Dayna for her significant contributions and outstanding service. Dayna made important strategic initiatives to help re-position TAVA as a leader in transgender veteran affairs.

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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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