Our guest speaker for this meeting is Tracey Cooper-Harris. Tracey served for 12 years in the US Army as an Animal Care Sergeant from 1991-2003. After her deployment to the Middle East for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Tracey worked in the public sector with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and City of Los Angeles Animal Services In 2021 she was hired as the Military & Veterans Liaison for Congresswoman Grace Napolitano’s District Office in El Monte, CA.
Tracey’s passion for both communities and recognition of inequitable benefits for same sex spouses of disabled veterans led to filing a federal lawsuit with the US District Court in Los Angeles in 2012. With the help of Southern Poverty Law Center, Cooper-Harris vs USA was one of the first cases that established recognition of same sex spouses for VA benefits. Tracey will be celebrating 14 years of marriage to her wife Maggie in 2022, and is a devoted caretaker to their three cats Clemson, Mohammed Ali, & JT.
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