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Veterans Day

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Veterans Day

Veterans Day is very personal to me and a day which has deep meaning, not only because I am am veteran and my son is currently serving in the military, but because I have a deep appreciation of those who choose to serve this country to protect our rights and freedoms.

And a special thank you to the many transgender veterans out there. The transgender community has always had a strong presence in the military; it is estimated that 13% of the overall American population have served in the military, and that percentage is roughly double for the transgender population. Serving in the military as a trans person has it’s own unique set of challenges and we face the risk of involuntary separation if we are found out.

But progress is being made thanks to the efforts of people like Sgt. Shane Ortega, a helicopter crew chief in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division and the first openly trans soldier in the United States military currently serving on active duty and who is also a leader of the Military Freedom Coalition; Kristin Beck, who retired in 2011 after a distinguished 20 year career as a Navy SEAL including seven combat deployments, and who is currently running for Congress to represent Maryland’s 5th Congressional District; and the late Jess Shipps, an eleven year veteran of the Air Force who was an active member of SPARTA, an advocacy and support group for trans members of the military. In July the Pentagon announced plans to begin the process to lift the ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military. An early draft of the timeline has the ban being lifted in May of 2016. The Pentagon is also considering a review of the discharge status of transgender troops who have already been involuntarily separated from the military.

Thank you to all who serve or have served; you have my deepest respect and gratitude. And speaking as a parent, I could not be more proud of my son for choosing to serve and for what he’s doing to contribute to keeping this country safe and secure. I still get teary-eyed when I see him in uniform, which is not often enough.

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2 comments

  1. ken

    its amazing how few people in America understand what it’s like to serve to protect our nation. Me I had it easy I was in peace time Navy between wars. I do what I can to support our men and women who serve away from home under fire or keeping the peace where necessary. its my prayers that GOD and the angels Protect all of you.

    1. Becca Benz

      Hi Ken! Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog. And thank you for your service. I wish there were more people like you who apprpeciated those who serve and do what they can to help.

      And have a Happy New Year! 🙂

      Becca

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