Rainbow Veterans of Santa Cruz County
To provide advocacy, recognition, education, support and resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) active duty personnel, veterans, their partners, family and friends.
Our Concerns Include
- Provide GLTB Veterans knowledge of and access to medical, financial and educational Veteran's Benefits.
- Provide family, partners, and friends of LGBT active duty and veterans support and information about resources that may be helpful to them.
- Provide education to the American people supporting the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of discrimination against LGBT persons within the military. This is the only law in the United States which legalizes discrimination against a specific minority group.
- Provide support and information to active duty LGBT Veterans who are threatened by the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy". As it stands now, the partners of LGBT personnel who are killed or wounded on duty have no rights to any benefits that heterosexual partners are entitled to, nor are they even notified in the event of their partner's death.
- Build a stronger Santa Cruz Veteran's Community by forging links to other veteran's groups such as the United Veterans Council, the Disabled American Veterans, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, the Veteran's Motorcycle Club, and Not This Time Vets.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post traumatic stress disorder is common among veterans as a result of combat and other stresses encountered in the military. Alexander Paul author of Suicide Wall estimates that 200,000 Vietnam Veterans have committed suicide as a result of their war experience. According to the VA, current suicide rates of active duty and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan is much higher than the average for all Americans. Recognition and support within the LGBT community of our brothers and sisters is an important step in alleviating this tragic waste of life. The Serviceman's Legal Defense Network has documented that many LGBT veterans and active duty personnel face harassment, assault and rape by other military personnel. Many of these people suffer from PTSD caused by this culturally sanctioned behavior. We can help LGBT veterans get treatment and support for Veterans Administration claims through the Veterans Center in Capitola and the Santa Cruz County Veterans Service Office.
Remember, supporting veteran's rights is supporting LGBT veterans.
We meet every 1st Wednesday at The Diversity Center 117 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, Ca around 7:00pm. For more information please contact:
Rodench Olson (831) 335-3610,
Chris DiMaio (831) 688-0107,
John Smith (831) 338-1153 home, (831) 345-6183 cell
Bev York (831) 461-9496,