Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva was the first American wounded, losing his leg in the war in Iraq and was awarded a Purple Heart and received a medical discharge from the military. After being honorably discharged, Alva came out as gay, and has been one of the most vocal veterans to speak out against the military's "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy.
Having survived a war injury, Alva felt he’d been given a second chance at life. He discovered a new calling. “I had to use my voice,” he says. “I had fought and nearly died to secure rights for others that I was not free to enjoy. I had proudly served a country that was not proud of me.”