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March 31, 2019 is National Transgender Day. 

The Society for Transgender Equality sent multitudes of flags to state and federal officials, requesting that they display these flags at their offices. 

The huge issue that the American Legion (and I) have with this is that Prisoner of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) flags were removed and these transgender flags were installed in their place. 

Among many other officials, Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi replaced their POW-MIA flags with supplied transgender flags.

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi’s office was one of those where the flags were replaced.


As a veteran and a lifetime member of the American Legion, I fully support the ire and indignation aimed at our government officials over this.  I’m sure we’ll get our share of hate mail, with people trolling us for being homophobic or whatever – please understand that being homophobic means you’re scared of gay people. 

I’m not scared of much, this group included.  What I am concerned about is the attestation that transgender people have a right to serve in our armed forces.  I strongly disagree – please allow me to explain.

Collusion? Complaint Says Sanders Violated Federal Election Laws By Hiring Non-American Campaign Advisers

Bernie Sanders office was one of those where the flags were replaced with transgender flags.


No one has the right to serve in the military. 

Citizens may apply, but go through a strenuous and detailed selection process involving their physical conditioning, mental state, their background including credit history, traffic ticket history, criminal history, and education. 

The very notion that one group of people, because they choose to identify a certain way, has a right to serve ahead of others is completely ridiculous, without merit, and steeped in well-founded regulations. 

Let’s repeat – if you’re not in good physical condition, don’t meet height and weight standards, have acceptable vision, have flat feet, have bad credit (deals with security clearance issues), or have traffic tickets or a criminal history, you don’t get to serve in the military. 

Transgender Flag

An image of a transgender flag, which is at the center of the controversy with these Senators.


Long gone are the days of stories about how your uncle got into trouble with the law back in ’68 when the Vietnam draft was on and had to choose between going to jail or enlisting.  Criminals are no longer welcome, and never truly were. Once you’ve developed a disdain for society’s rules and norms, it was (and still is) fully understood that you can’t comply with military rules and practices and won’t work as a good teammate.

disabled Navy veteran

(Photo courtesy navylive.dodlive.mil)


Even with all these processes in place and significant scrutiny during the recruiting process, there are a handful of people who don’t make it, and either wash out during basic training, technical training, or within the first year of service. 


Even the most well-qualified, mentally, and physically tough of us, after seeing the things you see and in-place experience in combat, deal with Post Traumatic Stress and other issues, and in many cases, lead to suicide.  We average 22 lives per day lost to veteran suicide.  It’s tough.  It’s hard on you and your family. 

despicable rant

Toby Keith performs for COB Speicher.
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — Hundreds of U.S. Division-North service members and civilians pack the soccer stadium at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, as country music star Toby Keith plays his “Locked and Loaded” tour, April 27, 2011. Keith visited deployed troops for a ninth time during the USO-sponsored event. Keith, the son of a U.S. Army veteran, said his father always instilled respect for the military, and his multiple visits to deployed troops are a way of giving back.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shawn Miller, 109th MPAD, USD-N PAO)


And we have this group demanding the right to serve, because of their mental illness.

Transgenderism is a mental illness.  There.  I’ve said it. Or I’ve written it.

From Psychology Today:  

Gender dysphoria (formerly gender identity disorder) is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex that results in significant distress or impairment.

A recent and thorough study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, reveals that half of those who say they are transgendered attempt suicide at a rate of near or at 50 percent:

Female to male adolescents reported the highest rate of attempted suicide (50.8%), followed by adolescents who identified as not exclusively male or female (41.8%), male to female adolescents (29.9%), and questioning adolescents (27.9%).

As a reference, the national average suicide rate for males, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is .00014, or 14 in 100,000.  Suicide rates for transgenders, shown above is 41.8% or nearly 42 in 100. Female transgender suicides account for nearly 52 in 100.

Two questions for you: 

1. If you were a unit commander of an infantry unit, a fighter squadron, a fleet of ships, or a recon unit, what do you think the impact would be of a troop under your command having a 40-50% chance of killing themselves on any given day? 

Bear in mind that military trainees engage stress at easily 300 times that of people in civilian jobs.  If they’re armed in their specific career field, how stable is that person for not only not harming themselves, but others in the unit?

2.  If you are a veteran, and especially an American Legion member who served in combat on foreign soil, how would you feel about having your flag replaced by a government official you’re your own government – with a flag designated to honor people demanding to serve ahead of other qualified citizens because of their mental illness?