FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18 January 2007
From: Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
Media Contact: Ann Marie Knittel
Media Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
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.