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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Reception to thank supporters of monument to LGBT veterans, Aug. 9
From a press release
2015-07-29

This article shared 3963 times since Wed Jul 29, 2015
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Chicago — The public is invited to celebrate and thank all those who made possible the first federally approved monument honoring the service of LGBT veterans which now stands in the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois. An appreciation reception, beer bust and BBQ will be held on the rooftop deck of the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago, on Aug. 9, 2015, from 4 to 8 pm.

The stately granite and bronze monument to LGBT veterans was made possible by the Chicago Chapter of the American Veterans for Equal Rights ( AVER ) and many supporters and financial donors. It is intended to redress the history of disregard and disrespect for LGBT veterans with a lasting federal symbol of recognition. It reads: "Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have served honorably and admirably in America's armed forces. In their memory and appreciation of their selfless service and sacrifice, this monument was dedicated by Chicago Chapter American Veterans for Equal Rights 'AVER' ( … with liberty and justice for all )."

The project, from design through fundraising through many levels of federal approval, took four years and was spearheaded by Stanley J. Jenczyk, a junior board member of AVER's Chicago chapter. It was dedicated in a formal ceremony on Memorial Day, Monday 2015.

AVER is a national non-profit, chapter-based association of active, reserve and veteran service members working for full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. armed forces. The Chicago chapter was founded in 1992 by Navy veteran Jim Darby and partner Patrick Bova. The current president of the Chicago chapter of AVER is U.S. Navy Logistics Specialist Second Class (E-5). Lee Reinhart, a veteran of both the Navy and Coast Guard and the first Illinois veteran of Don't Ask, Don't Tell known to have reentered the service after Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed. He has since completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The event will offer food, wine and beer and a cash bar for cocktails. The suggested donation is $10.

For information, contact James Darby, AVER, jamesdarby@aol.com 773-752-0058


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