T ransgender A merican
V eterans A ssociation

Seldom have my emotions traveled from one extreme to the other in a matter of moments, but it happened this past weekend in Washington, DC.  From the joy of meeting long-time sisters and brothers to the gut wrenching pains of memories formed what seems like an eternity ago on the battlefields of a distant shore; this was my experience this past weekend.  Sisters and brothers whom I had met many years ago via the magic of computer bulletin boards and the internet but due to physical distances had not until now been able to greet with a hug and a kiss was absolutely overwhelming.  Alex and Jamison, Phyllis, Jessica and so many of the rest of you who until now had been just a mass of words on a crt or a picture taken years ago when we all looked so much younger and better, to finally meet all of you and hug each of you just further confirmed in my mind that there is indeed a higher power that does love and care for us all.  I still do not have the words to thank each and every one of you who over the last 20 or so years have provided me with a source of not only information but also inspiration to keep going when there seemed to be no hope or light at the end of that very dark, very long tunnel that each of us have traveled to get to where we are today.  Please accept a very humble and inadequate 'Thank You' from the very depths of my being.

The events that transpired the past couple of days would never have happened five or ten years ago.  Never have I seen such a large group of the Gender community gather in one place with such a total commitment to the group effort.  To be a part of history, and never for one second doubt that it was not an historical moment, was an honor and a privilege.  A special thank you must be given to all those dedicated individuals who participated in the planning and execution of this weekend and another thnk must go to everyone who showed up and who shared their stories.  Each and everyone of you will certainly inherit a crown of finest gold in your next life.

Again thank you from the depths of my soul for all the love, comfort and inspiration that each of you shared with me on this very special first weekend of May 2004.

Connie Anne Spry
Sergeant USMC(Retired)

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