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Pride Profile: Eric Alva, First Casualty of Iraq War/LGBT Activist


On the 73rd anniversary of D Day, theOUTfront honors all the men and women who have been wounded and killed in service to our country, especially those who did so in “silence.”

Born into a third generation military family, Eric Fidelis Alva, already knowing he was gay, joined the Marine Corps at the age of 19. Achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2000, Alva became the first soldier seriously injured in the Iraq War when he stepped on a land mine losing his right leg in 2003.  After his discharge, Alva worked with bipartisan representatives in 2007 to reintroduce the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act” that would repeal “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” and testified before Congress in 2008.  When booed by religious lead protesters for speaking in support of a gay civil rights ordinance at a San Antonio City Council meeting in 2013, the Purple Heart recipient said this to them…

“To all you people that preach the word of God, shame on you because God loves me, like the day I laid bleeding on the sands of Iraq and that’s why he saved me.” – Eric Alva

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