As Black History Month comes to an end, it is important to continue to remember the outstanding service of African American veterans year-round. Perhaps the most respected and well-known group of African American veterans are the Tuskegee Airmen, who were members of the 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Corps during World War II.
These pioneers for minority service members were at the White House this past month for a special screening of the movie “Red Tails,” which tells their story of overcoming prejudice and racism as they sought to defend their country. President Obama recognized the importance of their service and the impact these men had on the full integration of the military.
As the President acknowledged the struggle for equality that the Tuskegee Airmen faced, he can proudly point to his record of ending another discriminatory policy in the military: ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. As President Obama said in 2010, “We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. We are a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal. Those are the ideals that generations have fought for.” As we salute the sacrifice and leadership the Tuskegee Airmen showed in fighting for equality, we can be proud to know that under the direction of President Obama, gay and lesbian service members can serve their country openly. President Obama’s policies have continued to make this country a more perfect union, with equality and respect for all who wish to serve.