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    NMETLC Cohosts Fort Sam Houston LGBT Pride Month Ceremony

    LGBT Pride Month Celebration

    Photo By Gary J Ward | SAN ANTONIO (June 13, 2017) Members of the Basic Medical Technician and Corpsman...... read more read more

    SAN ANTONIO – Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command (NMETLC) partnered with the Army’s Mission Installation Contracting Command (MICC) to host a joint Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month Celebration at Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH), Texas, June 13.

    “Today we celebrate members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” said Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, NMETLC commander during the ceremony’s opening remarks. “We learn about their journey for respect and inclusion, and we learn about their many contributions to the mission.”

    The DoD joins the nationwide celebration of LGBT Pride Month every year in recognizing efforts and struggles from members of the LGBT community who served honorably in silence for years and the great contributions they’ve made to our military and nation.

    “I joined the Navy in 2002 during ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Elizabeth Barraza, an instructor assigned to Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) at JBSA – FSH, who spoke during the celebration. “I knew that there were service members before me and with me serving in silence, and I was willing to do the same. At the time, I didn’t think that there was anything that I could do to change that regulation.”

    Barraza told her personal story of finding love while in the service and the struggles and steps they went through to start and build their family as changes came to policies in the military.

    “I’m telling my story because a new generation joining the military today and service members coming to this command or going to assignments worldwide will not have to face the same obstacles now,” said Barraza. “Although my journey was not as difficult as others, it reminds us of how times have changed.”

    Personnel from NMETLC, NMTSC and MICC came together to organize the event for the base, which included words from a parent who actively participates in the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) organization, the president of the Pride Center – San Antonio, and closing remarks from Army Brig. General Jeffery Gabbert, MICC commanding general. There were also special presentations from the PFLAG organization and the Basic Medical Technician and Corpsman (BMTCP) Choir.

    “The pride celebration is especially important to our military members who identify, relate and support LGBT equality and seek to defend the right of all Americans to serve in the defense of our great nation and democracy,” said Lt. Cmdr. Frank Jones, NMTSC diversity officer, who helped coordinate the event. “While social advancement, popular attitudes and policies support forward movement on LGBT equality, there is still opportunity for improvement, particularly in challenging deeply held and toxic prejudices.”

    Jones expressed gratitude to be able to serve with the diversity committee and all the key players who went into planning the base-wide celebration. He noted that the collaborative effort between Navy and Army was especially nice to see in a diversity celebration.

    “The fact that unity and camaraderie breeds successful, high-functioning teams is well established in literature and evidence-based,” Jones said. “This in turn is necessary for the success of our mission to defend the people of the United States.”

    The DoD has made recent strides in LGBT acceptance starting with the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in 2011, which prohibited openly gay men and women to serve in the military. Leaders recognize the efforts of all service members regardless of their diverse backgrounds.

    “Our work here at Fort Sam Houston is important,” said McCormick-Boyle. “Whether we’re teaching students, managing health care, managing installations or managing operations north and south, the work is hard, the work is complex, and it takes many hearts and hands working together to get the work done and mission met. Hearts and hands of different color, national origin, sexual orientation, sizes and shapes. All beautiful, all valuable and all contributing to the whole.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.13.2017
    Date Posted: 06.15.2017 15:18
    Story ID: 238080
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US 

    Web Views: 316
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