Your Subtitle text



Nancy A. Russell, Chair

Nancy is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel.  Highlights of her military career included assignments to the 97th General Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany as Company Commander; Academy Brigade, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as Battalion Commander; MILPERCEN, Alexandria, VA; Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff Personnel, Pentagon; and the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  While in the Army, she obtained her Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas and her EDS from The College of William and Mary in Education/Counseling.  After retiring from the Army and moving to San Antonio, Texas, Nancy became an activist in the LGBT community.  She served as National President of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Veterans Of American, later to be known a American Veterans for Equal Rights.  She attended the founding convention of Stonewall Democrats and went on to be the principal founder of the San Antonio Chapter and also served a term on the National Stonewall Democrats Board of Directors.  She was twice an openly gay delegate from Texas to the Democratic National Convention, and once  as a member of the Credentials Committee.  Nancy was a Precinct chair for 15 years and served on the Texas Democratic Executive for five years.  Over the years she has Marched on Washington, marched in the 25th Anniversary Stonewall Parade in New York City  and lobbied Congress on behalf of repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell since before its inception, including testifying in 1994 before a House Armed Services Subcommittee against the policy.

Jim Darby, Secretary,  served in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1956.

 As a Communications Technician Second Class he held a top secret security clearance as a cryptographer and Russian linguist. After Great Lakes, Bainbridge Island, WA and Washington, DC, he was sent off to French Morocco and Germany, also serving time on the U.S.S. Midway, the U.S.S. Bennington, and the U.S.S. Des Moines. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Naval Occupation Service Medal. After receiving an Honorable Discharge upon the completion of his military service, he became a Public High School Foreign Language Teacher of Spanish, French and English. In 1985, he was honored as The Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He was inducted into Chicago's Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1997, for his work with LGBT veterans. Jim has served GLBVA/AVER in many capacities at the local and National levels. At the National level he has been Regional Vice-President for Region III, Secretary, Vice President and President. He was the Editor of The Forward Observer from 1995 to 2004, and has recently accepted that position again. Jim has been a member of GLBVA/AVER since 1991. He resides in Chicago with Patrick Bova, his partner of 49 years. Together they have attended every Convention and Conference since 1992.

Tom Swann

Tom Swann is a nationally-recognized gay civil rights and veteran leader who lives in Rancho Mirage, California. Tom was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and an E-6 with the Naval Air Reserve.  In December 1992, as a GS11 civilian employee, Swann traveled to Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters in Washington DC and came out of the closet to a Navy Admiral. The Navy retaliated against Swann and placed him on the unfunded list in an attempt to terminate his employment.  The ACLU filed several complaints on Swann’s behalf and in May 1994 his case was settled out of court. His case prompted Navy Secretary John Dalton to add sexual orientation protection to the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) policy. Swann became the last gay federal worker to have his access to classified information challenged by the government.   Swann has been featured in many prominent publications. He received awards from Navy Secretary John Dalton, GLBVA, Navy GLOBE, American Legion Post 448, Desert Business Association, Palm Springs Human Rights Commission, California Democratic Party, California Department of Veterans Affairs, Ventura County Board of Supervisors, and many more.  He is a past regional vice president of GLBVA and served as President of both the Ventura County and Palm Springs GLBVA Chapters. In 2000 he served as co-chair of the Democratic National Convention Salute to Veterans.  Swann received special permission from Vice President Al Gore to have the rainbow flag on stage next to the military service flags.  Since 2000 Swann has served on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs HIV Community Advisory Board.  In 2001, in Cathedral City California, he led the effort to erect America’s first veteran’s memorial dedicated solely to LGBT who died in war.  Twice he has presented wreaths for LGBT war dead at Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns. He was the first openly gay member of the Riverside County Veterans Advisory Committee as well as the first openly gay AMVETS Post Commander and District Commander.  He started the AMVETS Express which takes veterans free of charge from Cathedral City to the Loma Linda VA Hospital free of charge.  He is a published author, college speaker and peace activist.


The National LGBT Veterans Memorial project is a tax-exempt organization under paragraph  501(c)(3) of IRS Regulations.
  If you prefer to donate by check, make your check payable to NLGBTVM and mail to  NLGBTVM at   P.O. Box 780514, San Antonio, Texas 78278-0514.
Website Builder