Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Thursday implored her colleagues to stand with all of our troops in the face of President Trump’s rush to implement a proposed ban on transgender troops serving in the military, saying it doesn’t matter whether a soldier was “gay, straight, transgender, black, white or brown,” and that such a measure would be “disruptive” and “counterproductive.”
“When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter after I was shot down, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white or brown. All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind,” Duckworth said in the statement.
“If the President enacts this ban, which would harm our military readiness, the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who oppose this discrimination must enact legislation that prevents it from taking effect,” she said.
Duckworth, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, lost both of her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade shot down the helicopter she was piloting over Iraq in 2004, reports The Hill.
“Anything else is not just discriminatory, it is disruptive to our military, and it is counterproductive to our national security,” she added.
The proposed ban, which Trump announced on Twitter in July, came to the surprise of both lawmakers and military officials, several of whom publicly criticized the proposal.
The White House has reportedly prepared a memo that will instruct the Pentagon on the policy’s implementation.