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Taking pride in Americans

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- (Editor's note: This is part 2 of a 2-part series recognizing LGBT month)

As Pride Month continues, it is important to recognize the achievements of individuals; past and present, which have made a difference in the lives of every American.

It is this history that has defined the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its movement in society and in the military throughout the course of hundreds of years in America and around the world. Hence, it is vital to recognize LGBT pioneers who are important to celebrate every day and more so in the month of June.

The Defense Department and the nation depend every day on the service of LGBT personnel, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said earlier this month.

All DOD personnel are encouraged to recognize the accomplishments of all members of its workforce including the LGBT community and the achievements of those who have served in uniform or as civil servants to the United States.

We encourage you to read about historical figures, such as, Brenda "Sue" Fulton. Fulton is an U.S. Army veteran who graduated from West Point in 1980. She is the executive director and co-founder of Knights Out, an organization of LGBT West Point graduates who support LGBT military personnel. In 2011, President Barack Obama named Fulton to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, becoming the first openly homosexual person to serve on the advisory board.

The Armed Forces have always led the nation in the promotion of equality based on merit. Celebrating LGBT Pride Month is more about acknowledging the progress and strides the U.S. has made in ensuring equal rights for all. It is in this light that respect for all is appreciated with the vision of a better world for all. Fulton represents that progress and vision and are part of what has made America the country that it is today.

For more information about Pride Month, visit www.militarypartners.org/resources, www.militaryonesource.mil, the Patrick Air Force Base Library, or the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Library.