WASHINGTON — Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde, who was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 2008 under the now repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, will be reinstated and will return to active duty in May 2012.
Loverde is scheduled to take his oath in Sacramento in May 2012 and will be assigned to the 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas, according to an announcement Tuesday by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster.
The reinstatement is set to make Loverde the second service member reinstated to active duty following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in September 2011.
“I am honored and humbled to return to the service of my country and the job I love. I am grateful to my legal team and all of those in the armed forces who helped to facilitate this reinstatement. I am eager to take the oath and get to work,” said Loverde.
Loverde’s reinstatement is the result of a resolution on his behalf in the historic case, Almy v. United States, filed in 2010, which challenges the constitutionality of the three plaintiffs’ discharges under DADT and seeks their reinstatement to active duty.
A resolution was reached in December 2011 on behalf of Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniels, who was reinstated in the U.S. Navy as a linguist.
A resolution on behalf of the third plaintiff in the case, former Air Force Major Mike Almy, is expected soon.
“This historic reinstatement again reminds us that today’s military is a welcoming place for qualified patriots whose careers were cut short by the unjust ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law. This victory is unique because it is a reinstatement — not just a reentry — meaning that Sergeant Loverde will return to his previous rank and be able to continue his career as if it had never been interrupted,” said SLDN Legal Director David McKean.
“As a nation, we can never restore what was fully lost by this service member and many like him as a result of DADT, but at SLDN we are working day and night to ensure that those who wish to serve their country again may do so on active duty, in the reserves, or in the guard.”
Loverde entered the Air Force at age 20, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant before he was discharged seven years later under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
He is an expert at calibrating weapons systems and had been in charge of cargo on more than sixty flights into Iraq. Following his discharge, he was hired immediately by a military contractor and sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, largely doing the same job he had done in the Air Force before his discharge.
“This underscores just how absurd the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law was and why repeal was the right thing to do,” said SLDN’s McKean.