Staff Sergeant Eric Fidelis Alva (born 1971-04-01) was the first U.S. military service member injured in the Iraq War.[1] He was in charge of 11 Marines in a supply unit when, on March 21, 2003, he stepped on a land mine, losing his right leg.[2] He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1990 at the age of 19. He is a native of San Antonio, Texas.

Currently he is working with Democratic representative Martin Meehan of Massachusetts and a bipartisan group of representatives to Capitol Hill to reintroduce the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, legislation that would repeal the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding homosexual conduct.[3] Alva will also serve as the Grand Marshall of the 2008 Chicago Gay and Lesbian Pride parade held on Sunday, June 29, 2008.

General Pace controversy

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, General Peter Pace said, "I believe homosexual acts between individuals are immoral."

As a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, Eric Alva said,

His remarks were insensitive and disrespectful.

When asked by news interviewer Paula Zahn [4]: "Were you ever attracted to a "soldier" in the field?" Alva replied

I never took my personal life to work.


  • "I come from a family of servicemen. My dad, Fidelis, is a Vietnam vet. My grandfather, also named Fidelis, was a World War II and Korean War veteran. I was named after them. My middle name is Fidelis. Fidelis means always faithful."[5]
  • "We're losing probably thousands of men and women that are skilled at certain types of jobs, from air traffic controllers to linguists, because of this broken policy."[6]
  • Responding to a question about whether being in the closet adversely affected him: "On a professional level, no, because I knew I had a job to do. On a personal level, in some ways, yes, because it was hard for me to live sometimes knowing that I was alone or that I couldn’t be open about who I wanted to date."[7]

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