Stephen Snyder-Hill, a decorated Gulf War veteran and author of “Soldier of Change: From the Closet to the Forefront of the Gay Rights Movement,” presents a lecture 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University.
The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call the YSU Office of Alumni and Events at 330-941-2136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snyder-Hill joined the Army in 1988, served nearly three years on active duty in Germany and fought in the first Gulf War in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait before his honorable discharge in 1996. He reenlisted in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn in 2010. He received numerous awards and decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal.
When “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the official U.S. policy on gays serving in the military, was repealed in September 2011, Snyder-Hill, then a Captain, was serving in Iraq. Snyder-Hill submitted a video to a Republican primary debate held two days after the repeal. In the video, he asked for the Republicans’ thoughts regarding the repeal and their plans, if any, to extend spousal benefits to legally married gay and lesbian soldiers. The video was booed by the audience on national television.
“Soldier of Change” captures the media frenzy that followed that moment, placing Snyder-Hill at the forefront of the issue. Snyder-Hill has traveled the country with his husband, giving interviews on major news networks and speaking at universities, community centers and pride parades.