Friday, August 4, 2017

Friends Friday - Serving in the Shadows

Transgender troops face an uncertain future after Trump announces ban.

A Transgender Soldier
I applaud all of our military personnel; past and present. I never had that honor and at the time felt that the political leaders, not the soldiers had failed American’s interest. The time was Vietnam. I had close friends that went. Some died and other came back damaged both physically and emotionally. For what reason; so we can have cheap t-shirts today? An early lesson learned on the seriousness of voting and choosing responsible and intelligent leaders.

Anyone choosing to be in the military is accepting a self-sacrificing calling. Today there are good reasons, all honorable. Whether you are considering the military out of a sense of patriotism or duty, for action and adventure, or for a steady job in a depressed economy, you have chosen a mission to protect the security of our country. Thank you for your service and protecting the America we love. 

President Trump has announced that transgender Americans will no longer be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the U.S. military. Rand, a research think tank, estimated there are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender Americans serving in the military out of 1.3 million active-service members.  All volunteers.  

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued a statement criticizing Trump’s decision on Wednesday morning:

I continue to maintain that what matters in choosing those who serve is that they are best qualified. To choose service members on other grounds that military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military,” he said. “There are already transgender individuals who are serving capably and honorably. This action would also send the wrong signal to a younger generation thinking about military service.

Today I include several photos of our friends, serving heroes who are transgender and have chosen military service. For the past few years, photographer Jeff Sheng has been taking portraits of US military members who are transgender. Read the Kyle Almond article at CNN and see additional Jeff Sheng photos

Serving in the Shadows

Sheng said he was moved by their selflessness and their willingness to serve even though they often had to hide.

See additional information in The Atlantic article, "Trump’s Transgender Ban Could Force Out Thousands of Service Members".

No comments:

Post a Comment