Smart Decisions

Smart Decisions 

By: Boomer Hightower

"Regarding President Trumps recent decision to prevent trans individuals from serving, and the uproar it has caused I'll say this. No one cared about sequestration years ago, or the number of service members released from active duty as a result. Now everyone is an expert on defense budgets and service member rights. Its not a college campus or civilian life. The military is for a very specific purpose. It is NOT a place for social engineering. So rather than relying on emotions and 'fairness' to guide your decisions, consider this: You cannot JOIN in the military if you have any medical conditions that require constant treatment or excessive accommodation. That's why people with asthma, diabetes, permanent STD's/STI's (like HIV), people with cancer or a recurring history of cancer and individuals with physical disabilities can't serve (except in very rare cases where a specific waiver is granted). Even having flat feet is a disqualifier for service. Transgender individuals require hormone replacement therapy, they require psychiatric care during transition, and if they elect to get surgery it can take 2-4 years for them to recover to the point of being eligible to deploy. On top of that, after the surgery they are at a higher risk of infection for the rest of their life, which complicates any attempt at sending them to the field to train where hygiene isn't always able to be pristinely maintained or overseas. An overseas deployment also puts the individual at risk because they may not have steady access to their hormone replacement drugs, which leads to withdrawal and hormone imbalances as well as health problems. So, just like diabetics and cancer patients and individuals with physical or mental disabilities, it just isn't feasible to accommodate these people so that they can serve. While I respect their desire join in defense of this great nation, logistically handling the special provisions they require becomes burdensome to the point of causing a liability on the battlefield. It has nothing to do with hatred, or bigotry, or attacking trans individuals, it is about enhancing the combat capabilities of our armed forces."