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The Tom Swann Story: For a Greater Good

Play the Marines Hymn’ – The U.S. Marine Corps Song

Read how he and the ACLU took on the Navy and won!

Praise for Tom and his book

Jon W. Davidson Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc.

“I was one of the attorneys for Mr. Swann in litigation with the U.S. Navy. Mr. Swann’s case was instrumental in securing protection against sexual orientation discrimination for lesbian and gay civilian employees of the Armed Services. Mr. Swann fought courageously to protect the right of lesbian and gay civilian government employees to a workplace free of discrimination and harassment as well as the right of those workers to freedom of speech. He did so a great personal cost to his health and emotional and financial well being, yet he never wavered in his pursuit of justice and equality for all lesbians and gay men.”

David L. Schaub
Former Pentagon Executive Officer
1993 Alpha Squad Member

“When the disappointment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” came, it came hard. Tom had already become a lightning rod for U.S. Navy contempt and wrath. If you take on the military, you had best be ready for the fight of your life.
“Tom knew that, and accepted the challenge of his life. Even after he was fired and unemployed, and sick with AIDS, he continued to fight-and miraculously won. This book reminds us that no cost is too high and no struggle too great to achieve equality in our society.”

Venerable Morris Kight
Cofounder, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian
Community Center

“Tom Swann’s book is a how to succeed handbook, a standard operating procedure for gay activists taking on the conservative establishment, whether it is in government or the private sector. While Tom was writing this book he was my student and I shared with him many of the techniques and strategies I used to liberate our community starting before Stonewall. Tom’s book strives to inspire gays and those who oppose gay civil rights to engage in the freedom of dialogue to raise conscious thought. So, read this book and be liberated.”

Patricia Nell Warren
Wildcat Press

“The big impact of Tom’s story is in the uncomfortably close look that it gives us — at the daily details of Tom’s efforts to get fair treatment by the Navy and Marines. And the daily details of the military’s pettiness, deviousness, lack of integrity, and determination, as it threw all its enormous power into the stomping of just one gay man in uniform.”

Order The Tom Swann Story:
For a Greater Good

Library of Congress Number: 2004540172

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Cost: $25.00 (includes shipping)

California residents add $1.40 sales tax

Make check payable to: Tom Swann-Hernandez

Send order to: Tom Swann-Hernandez
PO Box 499
Rancho Mirage CA 92270

Contact Tom Swann-Hernandez:

Read The Introduction of the Book


I wrote this book because you and I both need some inspiration from time to time in a tough world.

I am the last federal employee to have his access to classified information challenged by the government based on being a homosexual.

Our ACLU case resulted in the Secretary of the Department of the Navy adding sexual orientation protection for all civilian employees, over 250,000 workers.

Whether you support these policies or not, they are permanent and historic.

The fact that two individuals, an ACLU counsel and a man living alone with advanced AIDS accomplished this, is inspiring. It means you can dream the impossible dream and it can happen. First, believe in the person you see when you stand in front of a mirror.

A lot has been said about President Bill Clinton and Rep. Barney Frank on the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.” Some people dislike them immensely. I personally suffered because gays were not liberated in 1993. Since then I have given awards to both of them. I gave them awards because I feel we did our best in 1993-94 and we must move the agenda forward.

So fix “Don’t ask, don’t tell” but don’t look back; gaze to the forward horizon.

You cannot be a beacon of hope to others unless your light shines. So keep the light of hope burning within and radiate it out to others.

This book is about healing wounds. The names of most Navy officials have been changed. We need to learn together how to make this a better more equal society. You do this through education. You cannot educate if you embarrass people.

We were striving for a Greater Good. We believed in the cause of liberation, justice and equality more than the Navy believed in outdated stereotypes and homophobia. We knew our cause was right.

When you have a higher purpose, a Greater Good and persevere you ultimately prevail.

Thomas A. Swann
June 2003

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Founder and Post Commander:


U.S. Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts presents an award to Tom Swann

Tom with Navy Secretary John Dalton

Feature story Los Angeles Daily News July 1993

First bookstore sale of For a Greater Good

Outside Point Mugu Missile Test Center Ventura County CA July 1993

Jim Darby, late Venerable Morris Kight, Tom, Patricia Nell Warren and Pat Bova in 2001

President Ford and Tom

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