May 23, 2014 Veterans History Project to Host Panel Discussion, "Breaking the Silence: Our Military Stories"

Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or
Contact: Monica Mohindra (202) 707-1071, Christy Chason (202) 707-9824

In recognition of Pride Month, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project will host a panel discussion focusing on such topics as pre- and post-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal and experiences, the current status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the U.S. military, the current ban of transgender service members and the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 as they relate to military families.

The event takes place on Monday, June 2, at noon in the Whittall Pavilion, located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

Panelists include Kristin Beck, the first openly transgender former Navy Seal; Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith, the first openly gay flag officer; Iraq War veteran Eric Perez; and former Army Spc. Joanna Eyles. Smith and the moderator for the event, Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War Air Force veteran Maj. Richard Williams, both have provided oral histories to the Veterans History Project.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of America’s war veterans from WWI through the current conflicts, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. For more information, visit or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to advance the knowledge and creativity of the American people through its collections, programs and services. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at


PR 14-088
ISSN 0731-3527