The Bay Area Military Women’s Collaborative (BAMWC) is part of California’s statewide collaborative for military and families; it is an emerging community for service women — active duty, reserves, guard, veteran/prior service — as well as military spouses, military family caregivers and supportive community partners.
During the meeting on April 4, retired U.S. Navy Commander, Zoe Dunning was the featured speaker. She shared her practical wisdom about transitioning from military service into public life and politics at the local, county and state level. Since her military service, Zoe has been involved with national advocacy for service men and women, and she is the former board co-chair with the Service Members Legal Defense Network. She has completed candidate training with Emerge California and the Victory Fund, and she is a senior fellow with the Truman Security Project. She is on the Democratic Party California State Central Committee, and she is gearing up to run for the San Francisco Democratic Central Committee in June 2012.
Zoe was the first and only openly gay person allowed to remain on active duty in the military prior to the end of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, then on December 22, 2010, Zoe stood beside President Barack Obama as he signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
I spoke on a female veteran panel in the spring of 2010 with Zoe. During the collaborative at BAMWC, the best part of hearing Zoe talk about her experiences was that it was an update of her experiences. She is extremely active in the veteran community and the veteran LGBT population. Zoe Dunning is an inspiration; her courage and perseverance is something movies are made of.
Thank you so much for sharing your story of trials and determination.