Marquette University Student Government will continue its 2013-14 Speaker Series on Thursday, Nov. 14, with Eric Alva, a retired Marine and LGBT rights activist. Alva will speak about dealing with discrimination and disability, as well as his role in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” at 7 p.m. in the Varsity Theatre. On March 21, 2003, San Antonio-native Staff Sgt. Eric Alva became the first U.S. soldier wounded in the Iraq War when he stepped on a landmine. In addition to breaking his left leg and right arm, his right leg was amputated in order to safe his life. Alva was awarded a Purple Heart by President George W. Bush and received medical discharge from the military.
Following his retirement from military service, Alva came out as a gay man and worked with members of Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a military policy that prohibited openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals from military service. Today, Alva is an LGBT rights activist and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, inspiring others to fight for equality.
Alva is the third speaker in the MUSG Speaker Series, following R.J. Mitte and Jaclyn Friedman earlier this fall. The remaining speakers include:
- Shawn Johnson – Thursday, Jan. 30
- Dewey Bozella- Tuesday, Feb. 18
- Jose Antonio Vargas- Tuesday, March 25
- Sarah Benincasa- Wednesday, April 2
All events in the MUSG Speaker Series are free and open to the public.