Air Force Staff Sergeant Reinstated Post-DADT Repeal
An LGBT military advocacy group has announced that one of its clients will become the SECOND servicemember reinstated to active duty since the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ That means he’ll return to the exact same position he had BEFORE his dismissal, as if his career was never interrupted.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network says Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde will return to the U.S. Air Force next month when he’s assigned to a squadron based in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was discharged back in 2008 after seven years in the ranks.
Loverde says while there’s still a lot of work ahead for him, he’s “never wanted to do anything else.”
LOVERDE: I almost still, to this point, even though I know it’s set and it’s happening, I don’t want to get my hopes up (laughter). So, I guess until I’m really wearing that uniform again, and I swear in next month, I’m excited, but I don’t know if it’s really, really set in.
Loverde adds that’s he’s “perfectly confident” that he’s returning to a “supportive environment.”
With SLDN’s help, Loverde and two other servicemembers filed suit against the federal government in 2010, challenging the constitutionality of their dismissals and seeking their reinstatement to active duty. SLDN notes that other military personnel discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ can ONLY reapply for RE-ENTRY right now—meaning they have to go “to the back of the line” alongside new recruits.
Another SLDN client—Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniels—won reinstatement as a Navy linguist last December, becoming the FIRST servicemember allowed to return to his previous rank post-repeal.