President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. The policy change has sparked much debate, including here in the Coastal Bend.
In his tweets Wednesday morning, President Trump said, "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."
Between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops already serve in active duty, according to a 2016 RAND study, and it is unclear how Trump's tweets will affect them.
Many Coastal Bend residents weighed in on the discussion via Facebook Wednesday, some in agreement with the new policy and others completely against it, calling it discrimination. Some expressed concern about tax dollars being spent on gender reassignment surgeries, while others believe anybody who wants to fight for our country should be allowed to do so.
"As someone who served in the military. Let me make this as clear as I can. The LGBT community has served our country since the beginning they always had to hide themselves with the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy but we always knew who was who. Let me say from experience, they jumped in front of guns, they jumped on grenades, they toed the line, they protected our country while our country did our best to discriminate against them," commented Connie Garza. "This law comes from a man who claimed he couldn't served because of bone spurs!! I broke my foot in basic training, with 2 weeks left downed some Motrin (anyone who has served knows ibuprofen 500 is your best friend) and finished it. Please those who are cheering it explain why this is a good thing and I don't want to hear religious or hateful remarks."
"Good! I'll explain why I think this way. I have been in the military for 5 years now and I do not have anything against transgender people. However, I do have an issue with the government having to pay for their procedures, that money coming out of the tax payers pockets," commented Heather Seifert Olson. "I don't mind if they have already paid and done all the procedures before coming in, as long as they have the will to fight just as hard as everyone else then yes please be by my side. I don't want people coming into the Air Force or whichever branch for the wrong reason (just to get their sex change paid for). That's all, thank you."
"The way I look at it, anyone that wants to fight for this country, should be allowed to do so," commented Sally White.
So what do you think? Join the conversation on Facebook.