Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth completely eviscerated President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military members with one brief statement yesterday.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to lift one of the multiple injunctions against Trump’s proposed ban, Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, rose to the defense of transgender service members.
Duckworth, a Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, was among the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was shot down on a mission and lost her legs and partial use of her right arm.
“When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter on that dusty field in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white, male or female. All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind,” she said.
“If you are willing to risk your life for our country and you can do the job, you should be able to serve—no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“Today’s decision is disheartening not only because it will help the Trump Administration discriminate against an ever-shrinking portion of our population who are willing to serve in uniform, but also because it enables the Administration to further disrupt to our military and weaken our national security,” Duckworth continued.
“I hope the Court takes up this case and loudly and clearly tells the Administration that this sort of discrimination has no place in our military, and I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress will send the same message and show our servicemembers that we have their backs.”
When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter on that dusty field in Iraq, I didn't care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white, male or female. All that mattered was they didn't leave me behind. https://t.co/dsQhwW805o
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) January 22, 2019