Veterans from all around the US weighed in on President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday that transgender people will be banned from serving in the US military “in any capacity.”
Trump cited the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender people to the military and reversed the Obama-era decision to support those who would live openly as transgender while in service of their country.
Immediately, veterans from all branches of the forces have sounded off against the decision on Twitter, calling it “upsetting” and “disappointing.”
“As on OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] veteran of the United States Army, I am extraordinarily upset about Trump’s ban on my Trans brothers, sisters, and siblings,” wrote Phoebe Gavin, who served during the Iraq War, on Twitter.
Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois senator who lost both legs serving as a helicopter pilot, immediately released a statement saying that anyone “willing to risk your life for our country” should be able to serve.
“When my helicopter was shot down in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else,” Duckworth wrote.
Chris Till, another veteran of the Iraq War and NFL Royals Blue team blogger, also wrote that “when your (sic) in foxhole or truck, you’re not worried about orientation. You just want somebody who will have your back…”
But some veterans also took to Twitter to express support with the ban, thanking Trump for the decision.
“Thank you. As a veteran, I fully support this decision,” tweeted Stacey Washington, an air force veteran and a current tv talk show host from Missouri.
“Thank you for putting a stop to the Transgender social experiment in the Military and for preserving our dignity,” wrote air force veteran Randall Simonson, who once also served as mayor of a Minnesota town.
But at least on Twitter, the majority of veterans to comment on Trump’s decision to block transgender people from the military have been against it.
“As a U.S. Navy Veteran, I find it atrocious that President Trump would use our mlitary, and the dignity of a community, as a political tool,” wrote Nikita Richards.
As a OIF veteran of the United States Army, I am extraordinarily upset about Trump’s ban on my Trans brothers, sisters, and siblings.
— Phoebe Gavin (@ohsoordinary) July 26, 2017
.@SenDuckworth: “I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else.” pic.twitter.com/eeLbXAHGPs
— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) July 26, 2017
As a veteran who has served in combat, I am disappointed in Pres. Trump’s decision not to allow transgender soldiers in the military…
— Chris Till (@ChrisTill1985) July 26, 2017
As a U.S. Navy Veteran, I find it atrocious that President Trump would use our military, and the dignity of a community, as a political tool https://t.co/8yJhQ5pizV
— Nikita Richards (@RichardsMCClerk) July 26, 2017