September 11, 2013
Contact: Mark Mazzone

SPART*A extends condolences to the family of Army Sergeant Darren Manzella, killed in an auto accident yesterday in Monroe, NY.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Mark Mazzone, Deputy Communications Director, SPART*A communications@spartapride.org, 910.431.5207

 

SPART*A extends condolences to the family of Army Sergeant Darren Manzella, killed in an auto accident yesterday in Monroe, NY.

Manzella came out publicly in 2007, speaking on CBS’s 60 Minutes in protest of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. He was the first openly gay service member on active duty to speak to the press from a war zone. After his discharge under DADT, he continued to work with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to end the discriminatory policy.

“Sergeant Manzella was one of the soldiers I looked up to, who had the courage to speak his truth,” said SPART*A Board member Mark Mazzone. “Thanks to him and many others, we can serve with integrity today. We are all saddened by the loss.”

Since the repeal of DADT, Manzella had quietly rejoined the military as a reservist. He and his husband Javier Lapeira were married on July 5, 2013.

“Like so many of us, he just wanted to serve,” said Tania Dunbar, SPART*A Co-Chair. “When he had the chance, he re-enlisted. That is what military service is about, whether you’re gay, trans, or straight.: living our values, serving our country.”

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About SPART*A: SPART*A is a group of LGBT people who currently serve or have served in the military and our families as well as veteran and uniformed allies. We are a membership organization, built by, for and with members from all parts of the LGBT military community. SPART*A’s mission is to advocate for and support our actively serving LGBT military members and veterans, and their families.


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  • published this page in Media 2013-09-11 10:28:29 -0400