I was born into a family where the military is thought very highly of.
My dad was in the Marine’s, my grandfather on my dad’s side was in the Army, my stepfather was in the Army as well, my grandfather on my mother’s side was in the Navy, and last but not least, my brother is currently serving in the Army. I respect each and every one of these individuals for the sole purpose of them choosing to lay down their lives for America to be free. It comes as no question that war is one of the greatest tragedies a human being can experience.
There are countless veterans, men and women, across the globe, not just Americans, who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as many other mental illnesses. These people who have fought and died for their country have sacrificed more than a lot of people could even begin to imagine.
Only during the 20th century were women allowed to serve in the military. The number of women serving in the military today has gone up significantly compared to 50 years ago. The same could be said for numbers of gay/lesbian soldiers serving in the military as well, all thanks to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy implemented in 2011. However, there have been a recent surge in allowing transgender people to serve in the military. The US government, up to this point, has been reluctant to allow transgender individuals into the military claiming these people have “mental disorders”.
Well, this viewpoint is beginning to be re-evaluated. I recently read an article that discusses the recent changes being made to allow transgender soldiers into the military.
The article focuses on Sgt. Shane Ortega, a soldier who has served three full tours, one in the Army and two in the Marine’s. Ortega has served two tours as a woman and one tour as a man:
Because of the strict policy against transgender soldiers in the military, Ortega has been allowed to continue serving although he must do it as a woman. This is because based on the policy, Ortega should be discharged on medical grounds.
This article got me a little fired up when I first read it. I believe that it shouldn’t matter if you are straight, gay, lesbian, black, white, brown, yellow, orange, transgender or not, if you want to serve in the military you should have the right to do so. It is absurd to tell someone they cannot fight for their country because they are attracted to the same sex or have different body parts than they were born with. Each life is valuable, and people need to realize that.
It appears that the government is starting to move towards allowing transgender people in the military and I hope this happens within the next couple of years. Anyone willing to sacrifice their life for their country should be able to, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.
How do you feel about the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy? What do you think about transgender people serving in the military? Please leave me some feedback in the comments. Thank you!