Gay Airman Discharged Under DADT Reinstated
Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde, discharged in 2008 under the DADT rule, will be reinstated to active duty in the U.S. Air Force, it has been announced.
Loverde’s reinstatement is the result of a resolution on his behalf in the historic case, Almy v. U.S., filed in 2010, which challenges the constitutionality of the three plaintiffs’ discharges under DADT and seeks their reinstatement to active duty. A resolution was reached in December 2011 on behalf of Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniels, who was reinstated in the U.S. Navy as a linguist. A resolution on behalf of the third plaintiff in the case, former Air Force Major Mike Almy, is expected soon.
“This historic reinstatement again reminds us that today’s military is a welcoming place for qualified patriots whose careers were cut short by the unjust ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law. This victory is unique because it is a reinstatement – not just a reentry – meaning that Sergeant Loverde will return to his previous rank and be able to continue his career as if it had never been interrupted. As a nation, we can never restore what was fully lost by this service member and many like him as a result of DADT, but at SLDN we are working day and night to ensure that those who wish to serve their country again may do so on active duty, in the reserves, or in the guard,” said SLDN Legal Director David McKean.
“This is a great day for Sergeant Loverde, but also a great day for our Armed Forces, which will now have a highly qualified service member back in its ranks. I am pleased that following the repeal of DADT, we have been able to reach a resolution for Sergeant Loverde that is in his best interest and in the best interest of justice,” said M. Andrew Woodmansee, Daniels’ attorney at Morrison & Foerster, which provides pro bonorepresentation to Loverde and other clients in this case.
Loverde is quoted as saying: “I am honored and humbled to return to the service of my country and the job I love. I am grateful to my legal team and all of those in the armed forces who helped to facilitate this reinstatement. I am eager to take the oath and get to work.”
Loverde will take the oath in Sacramento in May, 2012. He will be assigned to the 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. This reinstatement will make Loverde the second servicemember (and second SLDN client) to be reinstated following the repeal.
The Staff Seargant entered the Air Force age 20 and enjoyed a successful military career until he was discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule that banned openly gay servicemembers from serving. An expert in calibrating weapons systems, Loverde had been in charge of cargo on more than sixty flights into Iraq and, following his discharge, he was immediately hired by a military contractor and sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to do virtually the same job he had done before his discharge.