LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A shocking announcement from President Trump Wednesday morning, stating that transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve in the United States military.
Early Wednesday morning, President Trump tweeted"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".
Vietnam Veteran and Senior Vice Commander of the Duncan VFW Michael Moomey said he agrees with President Trump. He said the VA offers certain benefits for transgender military members that he does not agree with.
"They accept it, they accept transgender, they'll even pay for the operation. That is going to send a whole bunch of people into the service. I wouldn't want to be in a fox hole with one of them or in a fire fight because I feel someone that has a maybe an emotional problem that in a fire fight you can't have that," Moomey said.
In one of his tweets, President Trump said the decision would save money for the country.
"I would think 99-percent of them are coming in so they can get the operation and the free medical care the rest of their lives paid for by our government, which I feel is wrong," Moomey said.
Public Affairs Officer for the organization American Veterans for Equal Rights Denny Meyer disagreed, saying he thinks transgender people serving in the military are doing so for the exact same reasons as everyone else.
"These are not people who join to get to the head of the line for some surgery," Meyer said. "These are patriots. People aren't that stupid. They don't suffer through boot camp, they don't get deployed to the most dangerous places in the world in hopes of getting some surgery. They join because they're patriots."
In the president's first tweet on the subject, he said the decision was made after consultation with generals and military experts but Meyer said from his understanding, that isn't true.
"The word I heard this morning in a conference was that the Secretary of Defense Mattis was unaware of this and was furious because like previous tweets, no one was consulted. Government is not set by tweets. Executive orders are not set by tweets," Meyer said.
Meyer said the President's tweets are taking our country steps backward, especially since it comes 69 years to the day after President Harry Truman desegregated the military.
"The message is that democracy is dead," Meyer said. "That the leader of this country wants to reverse every bit of progress this country has ever achieved."