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Arts & Lectures Presents: Eric Alva
DateFriday November 7, 2014 7:00 PM
Contact Paula Hadley

Location: Williams Auditorium

“I joined the military because I wanted to serve. I was patriotic, idealistic; I was also gay.”

Eric Alva served in the U.S. Marines for 13 years. In 2000, he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. In 2003, on the fi rst day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Alva was with his battalion in Iraq when he stepped on a land mine. The explosion shattered his right arm and damaged his right leg so severely it had to be amputated. Alva received a medical discharge and was presented with a

Purple Heart by President George W. Bush. He was the Iraq War’s fi rst Purple Heart recipient. 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.”