The July 30 editorial cartoon about the ban on transgender people in the military misses some big points. Until last year, when President Obama changed the rules, transgender people could never serve in the military. So President Trump is only re-affirming a policy Obama had for seven years. I served from the seventies to the early nineties when I was forced out, medically retired, after developing type-1 diabetes. Many people are not allowed to stay in the military because of physical or mental health conditions, which affect their fitness. Military people must be able to rely on their coworkers when things get tough. Whether this is going through a door after armed enemies, riding in a convoy with the threat of IEDs or ambush or more routinely having to repair an aircraft in subzero weather at 2 a.m. so the aircraft can launch on a mission at dawn. People who are confused about their identity or who think they are something else cannot be relied on to do the job when things are tough. The evidence clearly shows transgender people have a higher suicide rate then other people, they are more prone to depression and anxiety disorders and more prone to alcoholism and drug use. Military life is often tough and the suicide rate among military people is high as it is. In my years I saw and encountered things that still haunt me. Add being transgendered to this is a policy for disaster. Trump is making sound policies for the nation to get us out of fiscal calamity and make our nation safe and keep our military strong. The feel good policies of the past must be dismantled to make our economy, education, health systems and military strong again and to end the threat of Islamic terrorism.

– David Neil, DuBois

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