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Buckeye Region of American Veterans for Equal Rights

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Courage - Compassion - Camaraderie

25 December 2008

Released 30 December 2008




After careful review and many hours of consideration I am forced to inform you that Buckeye Region of American Veterans for Equal Rights, BRAVER, will cease operations and formally dissolve as of 31 January 2009. 


Since April of 2008 BRAVER has worked to build itself up as an organization as well as provide support to the LGBT members of the Armed Forces and the Veterans community in Central Ohio .  Sadly, since that time we have been given a cold shoulder by the Veterans community based on our sexual orientation or identity and a cold shoulder from the LGBT community based on our Veteran status.  With the current political climate of the State of Ohio and the introduction of religious based homophobia into the more liberal facets of the populace we are condemned to this fate. 


Combined with the economic situation and the damning effects of the bigotry we face in both communities we are unable to grow as an organization or fulfill our mission.  I had sincerely hoped when we began this endeavor that as an organization we could give a voice to those that could not speak out on their own.  But that voice is stifled because we either dare to love another person or we dare to love our Country.  We set out never to judge another nor become polarized in our beliefs to the point of trespass on anotherʼs liberties.   Those ideals have given us a death sentence when the two communities we are a part of are so unyielding. 


It is with a heavy heart that I leave BRAVERʼs mission unfulfilled.  I would like to thank from the depths of my being for the support of those few and small number of people that were able to look beyond religion, politics, and even personal feelings to provide help for our Service men and women and to show dignity to those Veterans that surrendered their personal lives to protect all others.  There are men and women that need our help, but with out any support we cannot assist them.  Our Service members face wars overseas only to return home and face a greater one.  This war is with no foreign enemy, no terrorist, and not even with a definitive combatant.  M-16s are not used but political ideology.  Regrettably, no war can be won while fighting on two fronts and with both communities failing to help. 


Since the first day I came out to the Associated Press on 07 April 2005 I have fought for two groups to see the similarities and not the differences.  I see now that fight has been in vain.  Someday I hope to see the banner of equality and honor raised and see all communities rally behind it.  That day will come, but not until we can set aside our personal differences and beliefs and work towards the greater good of humanity and not just our own personal causes.  The Military has always been the bulwark of freedom that drew its strength from the public.  When those two sections of society work together we ensure the continuation of the liberties and rights granted to all mankind.  Cooperation can never be achieved if one section is claiming us to be sexual deviants and using the law to start a new form of religious persecution.  Nor can it be achieved if the other side condemning us for not conforming to a personal political belief or using us for a fetish (and therefore providing the justification for the deviant theory).  Only then will we ensure Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for all mankind.  Long live the State of Ohio and the American Republic





Our mission will be reverted back to our national organization, AVER,  who may be contacted via

AVER is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit chapter-based organization of active, reserve and veteran servicemembers dedicated to full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, challenging the DOD's policy of discrimination with regard to sexual orientation, whether actual or perceived. Membership in AVER is open to all who support the goals of the organization and does not suggest or imply sexual orientation of any of its members. All membership information is strictly confidential, as directed by the National Constitution, within the limits of applicable laws.

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