NEWARK– This week, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg announced that his office recently recorded the stories of four LGBT military veterans from New Jersey for submission to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. The recordings were made in the wake of the September 2011 repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Lautenberg was a strong supporter of the repeal and co-sponsored two measures introduced in the Senate to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The veterans who recorded their stories include former Marine and Army National Guard veteran Joel Muniz of Lyndhurst; Army veteran Brenda “Sue” Fulton of Asbury Park; and Navy veterans Ronald Clough of Highstown and George Phillip Zimmerman of Beachwood.
“I thank all of these veterans for sharing their stories and contributing to the Veterans History Project,” said Lautenberg. “No American should be barred from serving his or her country because of sexual orientation, and ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ moves our military forward. By sharing their experiences, these veterans are helping to promote equality. This project will preserve our nation’s history and I look forward to hearing from more of New Jersey’s veterans and adding their stories to the Library of Congress.”
Lautenberg, who served in the Army during World War II, recorded his personal wartime history with the Veterans History Project in October 2007. In January 2011, he kicked off a statewide effort to record as many stories from New Jersey’s veterans as possible about their service.
The Veterans History Project (VHP) was created by Congress in 2000, and marked its 10-year anniversary in November 2010. The mission of the VHP is to collect, preserve and make accessible the first-hand accounts of American wartime veterans. This includes collections of oral histories, memoirs, diaries and photographs. More than 70,000 veteran stories have been collected so far, including over 1,300 from New Jersey. The Veterans History Project is currently compiling a special collection of stories from LGBT veterans around the country about their service in light of the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
An online database of the Veteran’s History Project can be found at: http://www.loc.gov/vets
Information about the project and how to participate is available on Lautenberg’s website at: http://www.lautenberg.senate.gov/VHP.cfm
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