President: Michael D. Williams, U.S. Army
Bio: Specialist (SPC) Michael D. Williams enlisted in the United States Army in 1995 at age 18. Trained as a telephone and network switching systems operator (31F) at Ft. Gordon, GA he was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA near Tacoma with the 1st Special Forces Group, 2nd Battalion Signal Detachment after completing Parachutist (Jump) School. Green Berets, having a rather limited need for a telephone specialist, cross-trained Michael into radios, satcom, and intra-net services. Six months before his date of separation in 1999, Michael was honorably discharged under the now-defunct “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy.
Michael is now a local area REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty. He sings with the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus and is active in area politics through the LGBT-based Sacramento Stonewall Democratic Club and the Veterans Democratic Club of Sacramento County (DemVets). He is also be active in the local Sacramento Association of REALTORS®.
Michael’s focus on military equality began in 2009 and was in full swing when SVV reactivated in 2010. He became involved as an appointed Member-At-Large and has become an avid participant in SVV activities. In 2011, he was elected Vice President and has been an outstanding asset to the group’s operations.
Presently, he is pursuing an A.A. in Communications.
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Vice President: Ty Redhouse, U.S. Air Force (USAF)
Bio: Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Ty Redhouse was an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for eight years. He enlisted in 1998 and shipped out to Texas for basic training and intelligence analysis school. Ty was assigned to the 13th Intelligence Squadron (13IS) at Beale Air Force Base (AFB), CA, where he worked to provide direct intelligence support to Operations ALLIED FORCE (OAF), ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF), and IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). He was honorably discharged in 2006.
Since his discharge, Ty has been involved in activism and advocacy. In 2007, he provided testimony for a Senate Joint Resolution authored by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego). The resolution passed both the CA Assembly & Senate Judicial Committees; the resolution announced the State of California’s support of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). In 2010 and 2011, he received awards for his actions from the Sacramento Lawyers for the Equality of Gays & Lesbians (SacLEGAL). In 2012, he represented SVV in testimonies in support of AB 1505, a resolution co-authored by Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan to enhance access of state benefits to LGBT Veterans. The bill passed and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. He also serves as the Military/Veteran Community Liaison for Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA).
Ty recently obtained a B.S. in Criminal Justice with honors and is seeking certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He participates in an annual mud run in November and enjoys doing what he can for the Veteran community.
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Secretary: Gene P. Silvestri, U.S. Army
Bio: Private First Class (PFC) Gene Silvestri is a U.S. Army and Gulf War-era disabled veteran. Gene served with the 14th Military Police Brigade, 787th Battalion in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He received an honorable medical discharge in 2003. Since his discharge, Gene has been active in the local Sacramento veteran community as well as the Sacramento transgender community. He is currently a member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) as well as American Legion. In 2009, Gene became involved with the Sacramento County veteran service organization (VSO) as a local liaison. He has a wide array of knowledge on VA claims processes as well other benefits information. Currently, Gene continues to advocate for the rights of all veterans locally and nationally. He supported the repeal of U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy.
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Treasurer: Charles Peer, U.S. Navy (USN)
Bio: Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Peer retired in 1997 after 26 years in the U.S. Navy (USN), including five years on active duty and 21 years active reserve, in the rating of Storekeeper. He is proud to have served on four Navy ships, including active duty on the destroyer USS Bigelow (DD 942) and the destroyer tender USS Hector (AR 7), and active reserve on the fast frigate USS Gray (FF 1054) and the mine sweeper USS Excel (MSO 439), as well as in reserve units at NSC Oakland, Treasure Island, Travis AFB and Sacramento. He is the Editor of Outword Magazine, and can often be seen at LGBT events with camera in hand recording Sacramento’s LGBT history.