Air Force Staff Sergeant Fired Under ‘DADT’, to Return to Active Duty

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and the law firm, Morrison & Foerster today announced that their client, Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde, discharged in 2008 under the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” DADT law, will be reinstated in the U.S. Air Force and will return to active duty. He will take the oath in Sacramento in May 2012 and be assigned to the 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. The reinstatement is set to make Loverde the second service member – and second SLDN client – reinstated to active duty following the repeal of DADT in September 2011.

“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,” said Loverde.

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 bono representation to Loverde and other clients in this case.

Loverde entered the Air Force at age 20, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant before he was discharged seven years later under DADT. He is an expert at calibrating weapons systems and had been in charge of cargo on more than sixty flights into Iraq. Following his discharge, he was hired immediately by a military contractor and sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, largely doing the same job he had done in the Air Force before his discharge.

“This underscores just how absurd the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law was and why repeal was the right thing to do,” said McKean.

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  1. Total respect, empathy and genuineness to you Sergeant Loverde Not only are you doing your duty to protect the country/world we all live in, but you are promoting the vew of a gay man in traditionally Gay Alienating Environment. Allowing us to live the lifestyle we have strived and fought to get accepted as normal. Let alone equal. You are promoting equality through visibility, and demonstrating another dimension to the saying ‘gay and proud’ . Keep your wits about you, your head down, your pecker up, you cock hard, and lines of communications open.
    SLDN and the law firm Morrison & Foerster are obviously an immense offer of support. You guyz face enough negative attention from war monsters, agitated civilians in war torn areas of conflict, and the politicians who use situations surrounding war to further their own agenda. The last thing anyone needs is to experience the corporate bullying and oppressive practical and emotional negativity of the society who owes you a huge amount of gratitude for fighting for their rights to lead their lives in the way they want to. JoeUK

  2. Happy to hear this story. It’s a shame that soldies were discharged in the first place for such a stupid, out dated, and closed-minded law. But it’s enlightening to know that those who want to go back are now being allowed to. Progress.

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