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VA Medical Center More Inclusive to LGBT Vets
DAYTON -- When it comes to Gays in the military, equal opportunity has rarely been practiced.
"Old attitudes are hard to change and it takes time for people to change their beliefs change the words they use," said Dayton VA Medical Center LGBTSA program manager Carol Courtney.
While many VA's have program managers for LGBT Veterans, The Dayton VA Medical Center has never had one.
"They had someone for Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans but not LGBT," said Courtney.
In May Courtney who was just a therapist at the VA now is also working to educate the entire VA medical staff about being all inclusive to LGBT veterans. Since the repeal of don't ask don't tell, the culture around the military has started to shift and the VA medical center wants to make it clear that they are also all inclusive.
"We want veterans who maybe in the past have had a negative experience to come back and try us again and we hope this time they will have a more positive experience as the staff becomes more educated and more open," said Courtney.
"As I will be judged by God, so will they. Read the first two chapters of Romans and it's laid out their pretty plane," said Vietnam Veteran Carlos Mosley. He says although he doesn't agree with the lifestyle, God still calls him to love the LGBT Veterans.
"I believe we must love those people, we must treat them with respect, I don't think we have the right to exclude them from any benefits others get," said Mosley. "But I don't feel they should try and push their beliefs on us. I don't want that to be taught to my grandchildren in school."
But as for the VA Medical Center staff, they've put up a poster in the building that says "We serve all who served."
"I'm hoping this poster will help inform the vets that we do care about them," said Courtney. "We figure if we change the attitudes when a veteran comes through the door they will get better service."
Click here for more information on the VA Medical center's office of diversity and inclusion or to contact them.
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