Local Openly Gay Veteran Fights to Designate Official State LGBTQ Veterans Memorial

Friday, July 20, 2018

As excerpted from KMIR: 

For nearly two decades, a local veteran has been leading the fight to recognize members of the LGBTQ community who served in the military, but his efforts are now paying off even with plenty of roadblocks on the way.

The commander of American Veteran Post 66 in Palm Springs, Tom Swann Hernandez, is a former marine and now an openly gay veteran. He led the fight to build the LGBT Veteran Memorial inside the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City back in 2001.

The LGBT Veterans Memorial is not its way to become the state’s and the nation’s first official veterans memorial for the LGBTQ community through AB 2439 that passed the state house and senate.

One of the authors of AB 2439, is Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, he said, “Men and women who wear the uniform who have sacrificed their lives in the armed forces should be recognized.”

Garcia said without the story behind the memorial, it is just another memorial, for Hernandez, this is a story of perseverance.