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Donald Trump's presidency has proven that politicians don't always mean what they promise on the campaign trail. Who would have thought? His most recent let-down was banning Transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. Military. He made the shocking announcement over, of course, Twitter.
@realDonaldTrump on Twitter
Social media exploded with criticism of his decision, with some of the most viral tweets topping multiple hundreds of thousands of retweets. Transgender people show a huge amount of courage just being true to themselves, which leaves the amount of courage that they show while serving our country to be infinite. Here's a list of Transgender Americans, some in the military, some retired, that are undoubtedly braver than Donald Trump.
Kristin Beck served the country for 20 years as Chris Beck before coming out as Transgender upon retiring from the military. She received both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for her service serving on SEAL Team 6 - the team that was responsible for taking down Osama Bin Laden. Beck has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia; three more places than our President has served in.
Sgt. Sam Hunt
Sgt. Sam Hunt is the first openly transgender soldier serving in the Nevada National Guard. He's been serving our country since 2009 and came out after a deployment to Kuwait in 2015. Just this year, a mere month before President Trump's decision to ban Transgender soldiers from serving, Hunt's status as a male soldier was approved by the state of Nevada and his higher-ups. While he is crushed by the decision, he says he will follow whatever orders are passed down to him, although so far, his status as a male soldier still stands.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann
Blake Dremann joined the Navy in 2005 and has been deployed 11 times since then. 11 times that he knew he may not come back home, all to protect the citizens of our country. Dremann didn't plan on this long of a stint but loved protecting Americans more than he anticipated. He transitioned with the support of his commanders and hasn't looked back since.
Staff Sgt. Patricia King
Army Staff Sergeant Patricia King has served our country for 18 years and has completed 3 tours of duty. For the majority of her career, King has had to lead two different lives: one on the job, another at home. She adhered to male standards while serving and at work, but at home, was openly living as a woman. When the ban on transgender troops was lifted, she started to transition at work with the support of her team and bosses. By last year, her name was changed, and her transition into the military as her true self was nearly complete. Now, she along with thousands of others are unsure of what lies ahead.
Cameron St. Andrew
Cameron St. Andrew has served in the Indiana National Guard for 13 years. He has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan and transitioned while he was on active duty with the support of his unit and commanders. Now, a mere two years from retirement, after a long career of putting his life on the line, he could lose it all. After Trump's announcement, he expressed concern about those that are earlier in their careers having the rug ripped out from under them. He told Reuters, "Why serve a country that doesn't want me? It breaks my heart, to be honest." St. Andrew had a feeling that this was coming and switched to part-time service after Trump won in November 2016.
The National Center for Transgender Equality estimates that more than 15,000 transgender people are serving in the military as we speak. While the fate of the career of these Americans putting their life on the line is unclear, one thing is clear: they are all braver than President Donald Trump.