IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – The Oscar G Johnson VA Medical Center (OGJVAMC) shared a picture on Friday after raising the LGBTQ+ Pride flag in front of the facility to recognize the service and sacrifice of LGBTQ+ veterans and employees during Pride Month 2022.

“Raising the Pride flag on our campus is another way to show our commitment to all veterans who have honorably served our great nation,” said Zach Sage, acting medical center director, “and for our employees who identify as LGBTQ+. Pride counts at VA.”

According t a release from OGJVAMC, More than one million Veterans identify as LGBTQ+. VA serves all who served, and is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. VA strives to facilitate understanding, education, and awareness to remove barriers for the VA LGBTQ+ community.

“This is mind boggling. I never thought I would see a flag raised at a federal institution in my lifetime,” said the Rev. Leonard Newlin, a veteran of the U.S. Army who identifies as gay. “I have felt excluded since I was 13 years old. I hope this means that our society is moving toward the point of acceptance.”

For information about LGBTQ+ services at the OGJVAMC and its Community-based Outpatient Clinics please call the LGBTQ+ Program Manager, Deb Gross at 906-774-3300 ext. 32874.