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As of June 2016, there are approximately 1.4 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) veterans in the United States. This number is estimated to grow to nearly 2 million by 2023. Despite making up about 7% of the U.S. population, LGBT veterans comprise about 15% of all veterans. Veterans who identify as LGBT often face unique challenges that affect their mental health and wellbeing. According to a report published by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2012, LGBT veterans are twice as likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and three times as likely to experience major depression as heterosexual veterans. They are also more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs and are at a higher risk for suicide. These alarming numbers are likely due to the discrimination and harassment that LGBT veterans often face within the military and veteran communities. Due to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2011, LGBT people are now able to openly serve in the military. However, discrimination and harassment of LGBT service members are still rampant. A study by the Palm Center found that 72% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members and veterans reported experiencing some form of discrimination or harassment in the military.

This discrimination can take a serious toll on the mental health of LGBT veterans. In order to address the high rates of mental health issues among LGBT veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs has made a commitment to provide affirming and inclusive care to all its patients. This includes providing knowledgeable staff, creating inclusive policies and practices, and reaching out to the LGBT community. Despite the progress that has been made, there is still much work to be done in order to make the veteran community more inclusive of LGBT people. In order to fully support our nation's veterans, it is essential that we acknowledge and address the unique challenges that they face. The fourth of July is an important day in United States history. It is a day when Americans come together to celebrate the country's independence.

Since the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010, LGBTQ+ veterans have been able to serve their country openly. However, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to fully incorporate LGBTQ+ service members and veterans into the military. These veterans have served in all branches of the military and in all roles, from front-line combat to support staff. Despite the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," LGBTQ+ veterans still face many challenges. They can often feel marginalized and isolated from the rest of the veteran community. They may also experience discrimination or harassment from other service members. There are many organizations and groups that support LGBTQ+ veterans. These organizations provide resources and help these veterans connect with each other. They also work to raise awareness about the issues that LGBTQ veterans face. The Department of Veterans Affairs has also been working to become more LGBTQ+ inclusive. The VA has created a policy that specifically protects LGBTQ+ veterans from discrimination. It has also created a training program for its staff so that they are better equipped to serve LGBTQ+ veterans. The VA has also started to collect data on the number of LGBTQ+ veterans who use its services. This information will help the VA better understand the needs of LGBTQ+ veterans and provide more services that are specific to their needs. Despite the progress that has been made, much work still needs to be done to fully support LGBTQ+ veterans. These veterans have served our country and it is our duty to ensure that they are treated with respect and dignity. 

Pride Entertainment Magazine, July 1, 2022, 1:40 pm