Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) has released a powerful statement about Donald Trump's proposed ban on transgender people serving in the military.
A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Duckworth served as a U.S. army helicopter pilot in Iraq. In 2004, she lost both of her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade shot down the helicopter she was piloting.
"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 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."
The senator asked her fellow members of Congress to resist efforts made by the Trump administration to ban transgender individuals from serving their country.
"Anything else is not just discriminatory, it is disruptive to our military, and it is counterproductive to our national security," Duckworth said. "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."
Trump announced the proposed ban in a series of tweets last month, and it came as a surprise to both military officials and lawmakers.