T ransgender A merican
V eterans A ssociation

Chapters Expansions

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

18 January 2007

From:  Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
Media Contact:  Ann Marie Knittel
Media Contact e-mail: chapters@tavausa.org

Contact Phone:  (877) 426-3230
Web site:  http//www.tavausa.org

ATLANTA - The Transgender American Veterans Association announced the addition of two new state chapters today.  In December of 2006, Tennessee and Massachusetts joined Wisconsin as State Charter Chapters.
         
TAVA's Ann Knittel, the National Chapters Director stated, "I am proud to announce that we ended 2006 with three state chapters, for the Transgender American Veterans Association.  Wisconsin became a chapter in March, and on December 5th both Massachusetts and Tennessee joined the ranks of Charter Chapters.  I am looking forward to working with at least 6 more incorporated state chapters in 2007.  The organization is focusing on having operational charter chapters, for 2007 in Arkansas, California, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio and Texas."
          
The Tennessee Chapter Director, BEAR A-M Rodgers, said in a recent interview, "Now that the state is chartered, we have city chapters, being planned in Memphis, Knoxville and in Chattanooga for 2007.  Finally, we have a light shining for the many T and LGB veterans needing a voice with VA." 

The Massachusetts Chapter Director, Michael J. West said, "I am honored to be a part of TAVA and to have helped bring a state chapter here to Massachusetts.  It's been a long road of grassroots promoting, networking, completing all the necessary paperwork for incorporation, etc.  But it has been well worth it."
 
The continued dynamic growth of the TAVA across the nation only serves to demonstrate the need for comprehensive health care for transgender veterans.  The Veterans Administration has been responsive to the needs of TAVA members at a number of locations around the country but much more work remains to be done. 

 

“I’m proud of the progress Ann, Michael and BEAR have made in expanding our presences across the country,” remarked Monica Helms, President of TAVA.  “The dedication these men and women showed in serving their nation has been the cornerstone of the expansion of chapters in many states.  I cannot wait for others to soon join their ranks.”


Transgender men and women have and continue to serve honorably in every military branch and have been or are currently deployed in the war on terrorism.  A significant number of these highly decorated men and women have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and are under the care of the Veterans Health Administration.  The TAVA directly supports these men and women ensuring their needs are understood and met by the country for which they have fought and in some cases died to ensure our freedom.

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The Mission Statement for the Organization shall read as follows: Founded in 2003, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is a 501 (c) 3 organization that acts proactively with other concerned gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) organizations to ensure that transgender veterans will receive appropriate care for their medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration’s Customer Service Standards promise to “treat you with courtesy and dignity . . . as the first class citizen that you are.”   Further, TAVA will help in educating the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) on issues regarding fair and equal treatment of transgender and transsexual individuals.  Also, TAVA will help the general transgender community when deemed appropriate.

 

 


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