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  • « Gay media downs. . . | Main | Convention Preview: The Republicans »

    August 14, 2008

    And gay media ups. . .

    Posted by: Chris

    I want to extend congratulations to my former colleagues over at the Washington Blade for a big prize won by the paper and reporter Joshua Lynsen. The National Newspaper Association, a "mainstream media" organization that includes publications large and small, awarded Lyons and the Blade first place in the Best Newspapers Contest among non-daily papers with a circulation of 15,000 or more, for "Best Feature Story."

    Eric_alvajump The article in question, "A new kind of fight" published in March 2007, told the inspiring coming out story of gay Marine Eric Alva, now retired, who lost his leg as the first official casualty of the Iraq War:

    It was a late autumn evening when Eric Alva, now a retired Marine staff sergeant and the first U.S. service member injured in the Iraq war, decided to come out as gay.

    The decision, Alva said, came after his partner noted Alva lost his right leg while defending freedoms neither man could fully enjoy.

    Alva said the words his partner spoke then in their San Antonio, Texas, home have stayed with him.

    “Look at the rights that people are being denied,” Alva recalled his partner saying. “And look at the rights that you are fighting for. Look at the rights that you put your life on the line for, for this country. And yet you don’t get any of them.

    It was a great introduction for a Marine whose service proved all sorts of hypocrisies about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," as Josh reports how even after Alva's homosexuality became known, it was a non-issue for his unit. (The photo of Alva here, by the Blade's Henry Linser, accompanied the winning article.)

    Again, congrats to Josh and to Kevin Naff, his editor, and the rest of the Blade staff.

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    Comments

    1. Hawyer on Aug 14, 2008 9:16:28 PM:

      Eric Alva is my hero. I want to take him home and hug him - but I hear he has a longtime BF. Ahhh --- all the cute and smart ones are taken.

    1. Hawyer on Aug 14, 2008 9:22:29 PM:

      BELOW IS A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION THAT I SUBMITTED - AND WAS PUBLISHED ON 03/18/07 - IN RESPONSE TO AN OP-ED DEBATE ON DADT

      Response to Opinion “Immorality: U.S. abuse of gays in military,” Sunday 03/18/07:

      When Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, leading a battalion of eleven men, stepped on a land mine outside of Basra in 2003, he attained the notoriety of being first American wounded in Iraq. His exemplary and distinctive thirteen-year military career – and his avocation as a distance runner – abruptly ended when surgeons amputated his right leg above the knee.

      Accolades, photo opps, and endless press coverage ensued, including personal visits from President and Mrs. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. The ruggedly handsome, athletic, and articulate Alva quickly became a media darling, emblematic of generations of Marines who have sacrificed so much for this country.

      But there was something about Eric that we didn’t know: he is gay. For that, he has joined Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., in calling for an end to the ignorant and divisive “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Here’s hoping he is successful. Could anyone look Eric in the eye and tell him we would have been better off without his service?

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