Combat veteran J.R. Salzman said Wednesday morning in the wake of President Donald Trump’s military transgender ban that a war theater is no place for the gender confused.
In a tweet series, Salzman recounted his experiences in Iraq in 2006, when he was stationed at an isolated firebase in the blazing heat and experienced constant stress from the intense nature of his job.
“Everyday was Groundhog Day,” Salzman tweeted. “Wake up and do the same patrols, the same shifts, every single day. It was so damn hot. 150° in the gun trucks.”
“The stress of being out there and doing the same job every single day eats away at you,” Salzman said. “The younger guys had problems with that overtime.”
“After stepping on each other’s nuts living in the same can for five months, guys were at each other’s throats,” Salzman added. “The stress made it worse.”
For Salzman, the intensity of the war theater is so great that many of the men who were not even suffering from mental issues often snapped, particularly the younger troops. Due to servicemembers being in such close quarters with each other, “any tiny little personal issue they had suddenly became a mountain.” Salzman further pointed out that introducing servicemembers to the team who are “mentally, emotionally, or physically confused or in turmoil” will inevitably lead to people getting killed.
Transgenders in that environment are a “ticking time bomb.”
“Political correctness has absolutely no place in the military,” he said.
Trump announced Wednesday that he would not “accept or allow” transgenders serving openly in the military, citing medical costs and general disruption. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday afternoon that the details of the ban still need to be worked out between the White House and Pentagon, with the Pentagon taking a leading role. She also noted that after Trump made his decision on the ban Tuesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and other members of Trump’s national security team were immediately informed. However, many other Pentagon officials were left totally in the dark until Trump delivered the news on Wednesday morning.
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