WASHINGTON, D.C. - This month, Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde will be reinstated in the U.S. Air Force and will return to active duty after being discharged in 2008 under the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.

Loverde will take the oath in Sacramento and be assigned to the 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. The reinstatement is set to make Loverde the second service member reinstated to active duty following the repeal of DADT in September 2011.

“I am honored and humbled to return to the service of my country and the job I love,” Loverde said in a statement from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “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.”

“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,” said SLDN Legal Director David McKean. “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.”

Loverde entered the Air Force at age 20, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant before he was discharged seven years later under DADT. 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 McKean. 

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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