Inaugural Veterans Awards Presented by “Mission Complete” Honor Organizations in Five Categories
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 12, 2015
Washington, DC – In last night’s first ever Veterans Awards Ceremony, “Mission Complete” presented SPARTA with the top award in the category of LGBT Veterans. The other four categories were: Veterans Mental Health, Veterans Community, Women Veterans, and Homeless Veterans.
Over five hundred organizations were nominated, and narrowed down to three finalists in each category. Winners were selected based on their impact on veterans; SPARTA was honored primarily for its leading work in supporting transgender service members and veterans. More information on the Awards can be found at TheVeteransAwards.com.
Sue Fulton, SPARTA’s President, accepted the award alongside Board Member Navy Lieutenant Blake Dremann. Ten SPARTA members and allies joined them at the event.
In their acceptance speech, Fulton referenced her experience graduating from West Point in the first class to include women. “It was a moment in a series of learning experiences for our Armed Forces. We have learned the same lesson, over and over,” she said. “From Native Americans, Japanese-Americans, African-Americans. From women. I was honored to work on the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” - and now we've learned this lesson from gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans. The lesson is this: that what counts in a warrior are COMPETENCE, CHARACTER/COURAGE, and COMMITMENT. Nothing else.”
She continued, “For the 13,000 transgender Americans currently serving, and the 135,000 transgender veterans, we will continue to fight on. Because every time we have learned this lesson, our military has become stronger.”
In his remarks, LT Dremann quoted an inscription found at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, a quote from Army officer Rhonda Cornum: "The qualities that are most important in the military, things like integrity, moral courage and determination, have nothing to do with gender."
Pictures from the event are available upon request.
Media Contact: Sue Fulton
About SPARTA: Founded in 2013, SPARTA is an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who currently serve or have served in the U.S. armed forces and their families. Our mission is to advocate for and support our actively serving LGBT service members, veterans, and their families. As a membership organization, SPARTA exists by and for the LGBT military community. The name SPARTA originated as an acronym for “Servicemembers, Partners, and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All.”