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380AEW Article

Pride celebration brings color to 380th AEW

  • Published
  • By TSgt Jeffrey Grossi
  • 380 AEW

The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing’s Pride Committee collaborated to organize a “Pride Month Extravaganza” on June 23, 2022, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The event welcomed more than 100 servicemembers and civilians assigned to the 380th AEW and filled the Phantom pavilion area with color.

Pride month is held in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots of 1969. After New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, an openly gay club in Greenwich Village, a series of protests served as the catalyst for a worldwide gay rights movement. 25 years later, the U.S. military adopted the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Though lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals were able to serve their country during this time, they could not do so openly without threat of being discharged. This led to more than 13,000 servicemembers being discharged, many with “other than honorable” conditions. The era ended in 2011 when the policy was repealed.

“A federal statute was enacted called the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010,” said Staff Sgt. Malachia Jones, a vehicle search area supervisor assigned to the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. “This Act established a process for ending the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, thus allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces. Due to these advancements in the LGBTQ+ community, we can all serve among one another today. The Department of Defense Pride Committee has chosen this year’s theme: Respect, Dignity and Service. All Together.”

The extravaganza splashed color onto the U.S. portion of ADAB with tie-dye t-shirts, painting, a lip-synch contest and an “Amazing Race… To Love” scavenger hunt.