By Michelle Garcia
An Air Force staff sergeant who was discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2008 will officially return to active duty in May.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and the law firm Morrison & Foerster announcedthat their client, Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde, would take the oath to return to duty for the 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. According to SLDN, he would be the second known service member to officially return to service after being discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell.” SLDN Legal Director David McKean points out that Loverde is being reinstated, and not just re-entering the military. This means that Loverde will “return to his previous rank and be able to continue his career as if it had never been interrupted.”
Loverde was a plaintiff in the case, Almy v. U.S., which challenged the constitutionality of discharges for three military personnel. A resolution was reached in 2011, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniels was first reinstated as a Navy linguist. Air Force Major Mike Almy is expected to also be reinstated soon.
“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 is a weapons system calibration expert, and was in charge of cargo on more than sixty flights into Iraq. He was discharged after seven years of service, but worked with a military contractor, essentially performing the same role.