ABOUT THE MILITARY EDUCATION INITIATIVE (MEI)

The Military Education Initiative (MEI) represents a first-ever effort to educate America’s 27 plus million Veterans on the facts surrounding the contributions of gay, lesbian, and other sexual minority Americans to our nation’s armed forces.

There are some 478 military associations representing Veterans and active duty personnel on a wide variety of issues. These organizations are appropriately held in high regard by the American public and our elected officials. According to the Urban Institute’s Population Studies Center, fully one million of America’s Veterans are gay or lesbian.

The extensive research and studies conducted in recent years provides compelling new evidence regarding the gays-in-the-military issue. America’s Veterans need to know about this helpful information so that they may best execute their special role as emissaries between the military and our nation’s citizens.

The faces and voices of gay and lesbian service members and Veterans have been largely absent from the public discourse over the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, due to the policy’s rules forbidding gay troops from being public about their lives. The result has been that America’s Veteran community has been denied the opportunity to know the very people whose lives are most directly impacted by the Don’t Tell policy.

MEI believes that the stories of ordinary gay and lesbian Veterans are an important component in the effort to educate the broader Veterans community about the realities of Don’t Tell. Along with the research and other empirical data MEI will be providing to Veterans, we will also begin the long overdue effort to share with Veterans the lives and experiences of their one million gay and lesbian comrades.

Mission Statement

MEI is an Atlanta-based non-profit project whose mission is to engage in a dialogue on gays in the military with America’s 27 plus million military veterans, and the Veterans Service Organizations and Military Associations that represent them, to enhance their understanding of the gays-in-the-military issue.

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IN THIS SECTION

ABOUT MEI
Learn more about this first-ever effort to educate American Veterans about the contributions of American gay, lesbian, and other sexual minority servicemembers.

MEI'S FIRST SIX MONTHS
This letter from MEI Board Chairman, Jeff Cleghorn, recounts the organization's first-year accomplishments.

MISSION STATEMENT

WELCOME LETTER
Retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Vincent W. Patton, III, encourages all American Veterans to take a hard look at the new evidence on military service by gays and lesbians. (web page || MS Word Doc)

STAFF AND CONTACT INFORMATION