Ban idea non­sen­si­cal

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

So the pres­i­dent in­sists that we can no longer al­low trans­gen­der peo­ple in the mil­i­tary, ar­gu­ing that it’s a dis­trac­tion and med­i­cal costs for them are too high.

That’s funny, since RAND Corp. stud­ied just that last year in re­search com­mis­sioned by the De­fense Depart­ment, and con­cluded that med­i­cal costs for gen­der-tran­si­tion-re­lated treat­ment for ac­tive-duty mil­i­tary would cost be­tween $2.4 mil­lion to $8.4 mil­lion per year. In com­par­i­son, Vi­a­gra and other erec­tile-dys­func­tion treat­ments cost the mil­i­tary $84 mil­lion per year, ac­cord­ing to the Mil­i­tary Times.

De­spite the pres­i­dent’s state­ment, which was ap­par­ently a sur­prise to the mil­i­tary, the Pen­tagon says no ban is in ef­fect—yet, any­way.

What’s most egre­gious to me is that th­ese ser­vice mem­bers’ de­sire to serve their coun­try is ques­tioned sim­ply be­cause of their gen­der iden­tity. Per capita, trans­gen­der peo­ple serve at a higher rate than us “nor­mals,” and are just as heroic, if not more so for putting up with inani­ties like this ban.

There are thou­sands of trans­gen­der mil­i­tary mem­bers cur­rently serv­ing and re­tired from the mil­i­tary, and un­less they tell you, you prob­a­bly don’t even know they are trans­gen­der. I salute them and their pa­tri­o­tism. You know what pa­tri­o­tism is: love of coun­try, not po­lit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy. I re­spect them a lot more than I do any­one telling them they can’t serve.

L.M.L. TER­RELL Day­ton

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