30 Days of Pride!
June 12: Melvin Dwork
Mevin Dwork never gave up on his fight for justice. After enlisting in the Navy in 1943, Dwork worked with the hospital corps, caring for the sick and wounded. Despite what was later described as an “exemplary period of active duty,” he was suddenly escorted off base to his surprise. Then, following weeks in the brig and a psychiatric hospital, he was unjustly discharged from military service for being gay.
For nearly 70 years, he lived with an “undesirable” discharge. Dwork spent decades fighting his discharge characterization, filing numerous requests for an upgrade, lobbying public officials,and even hiring private attorneys. Finally, in 2011, with the help of SLDN staff attorneys, his upgrade request was granted and Dwork was granted an “honorable” discharge by the Board of Corrections for Navel Records, allowing him to be eligible for military benefits such as healthcare and a military burial.
Now his courageous story is the subject of a documentary currently in production called "The Undesirable." To view the film's trailer, click here.
If you would like more information on changing or upgrading your discharge paperwork, please contact SLDN legal services at 1-800-538-7418 or click here for assistance through our online toolkit.