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POTUS Tweet regarding Transgender Service

July 26, 2017
Re: POTUS Tweet regarding Transgender Service

The proud patriotic veterans and service members of Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) are deeply disappointed by President Trump’s heartless tweet this morning prohibiting transgender military service. Understandably, the nation is in shock and disbelief that a president would turn his back upon those service members that have sacrificed their life for his freedom to tweet such a post.

Evan Young, Major US Army retired, President of Transgender American Veterans Association, said, “This morning’s tweet by the President is deeply disappointing. TAVA is actively working with other organizations to create a unified front. We support our actively serving brothers and sisters. As transgender American veterans, who have proudly and patriotically volunteered to serve in our nation’s armed forces, we feel that assault doubly on our identity, on who we are. Our brothers, sisters, family, and allies were targeted and our freedom and resolve tested. As veterans, we are keenly aware of that price for freedom, and I personally call on each and everyone to step up their situational awareness, administer self-care, and be safe out there.”

We must not lose sight of the fact that transgender people have served honorably and for decades. For the last year, transgender persons served openly without an issue. Currently, policies in place do require that transgender recruits complete transition prior to entering into the service. The President’s careless tweet is just that, a tweet and not policy. TAVA will continue to provide unwavering support for our transgender service members and veterans past, present, and future.

Contact: Evan Young, President of TAVA 516-828-2911

Gene Silvestri

Private First Class (PFC) Gene Silvestri is a married, U.S. Army disabled transgender veteran, and he received an honorable medical discharge in 2003. Gene served with the 14th Military Police Brigade, 787th Battalion in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Since being discharged, Gene has been active as an advocate in the local Sacramento Veteran community as well as the Sacramento LGBT community and area politics. He is a member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and American Veterans For Equal Rights (AVER). He also serves as board secretary with the Sacramento Valley Veterans (SVV), his local AVER chapter. He has a wide array of knowledge on VA claims processes as well other benefits information. In March 2014, Gene began serving with the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) as their Veterans Affairs Coordinator. In February 2015, Gene began serving as a board-member-at-large with the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA). Currently, Gene continues to be involved in community outreach and advocacy for all Veterans. Gene began his transition in 2011 and receives all of his health care at his local VA hospital.

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