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TAVA Elects New Board Members

In mid February 2015, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) brought two highly experienced, patriotic veterans to our board; enhancing our outreach and mission of serving America’s transgender veterans and advocating for our benefits and for the honor, duty, and right to serve.

Major Kimberly Morris is a 20-year Marine Veteran and is an active member in her local transgender community. She enlisted in 1994 as a Reservist in the Marine Corps out of college and received her commission in 1995 through the OCC program. Trained as a Communications Officer, she served in all components of the Marine Corps and successfully completed tours in Recruiting, I&I, and Acquisitions. She led a Communication Company in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her awards include three Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Gene P. Silvestri is a U.S. Army disabled transgender veteran, and currently serves as the Veterans Affairs Coordinator for The American Military Partner Association (AMPA). In 2003, he received an honorable medical discharge from the U.S. Army. In 2009, Gene became involved with the Sacramento County veteran service organization as a local transgender veteran liaison. Since then, Gene has been serving on the board of the Sacramento Valley Veterans, the local chapter of American Veterans For Equal Rights (AVER). He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). He most recently served as committee member for the CalVet LGBT Veterans Leadership Forum, the first-statewide event of its kind. As a married transgender man and Army veteran, he brings a unique perspective and awareness concerning VA benefits and LGBT veterans and their families. He is currently pursuing life coach and time management certifications.

TAVA’s President, Major Evan Young, ret., said that, “Our goal is to build the most patriotic, intelligent, knowledgeable, and motivated board to represent transgender veterans. Our duty is ensuring equitable treatment and acceptance for all veterans.”


Evan Young, TAVA President 616-427-5724;

Denny Meyer, TAVA Public Affairs, 718-849-5665;

Evan Young

Evan Young

Evan Young is originally from Little Rock, Ark. He graduated basic training in 1989, transitioned from a sergeant to lieutenant in 1998, and rose to the rank of Major before retiring. In 1998, Evan graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana with a B.A. in English. From there, he continued his studies while on Active Duty and graduated from Nova Southeastern University in Florida with a M.S. in Management Information Systems. He earned his public affairs credentials in 2004 and broadcasting management credentials in 2007. He served in the Reserves, Guard, and Active Duty. He was the Hawaii National Guard as a Public Affairs officer and a Media Officer at NORAD and US NORTHCOM. Evan began transition in 2011. He retired from the Army as a Major in 2013. Since then he began his own web development company, EF Young, has written for OutServe magazine as a blogger, is the former president of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, and currently serves as the national president of the Transgender American Veterans Association. Evan currently lives in Dover, AR. with his two children.

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