Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) on Thursday harshly criticized President Donald Trump’s announced ban on letting transgender individuals serve in the U.S. military.
“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,” Duckworth, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs in the Iraq war, said in a statement. “All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind.”
Duckworth said that Trump’s announced ban on letting transgender individuals serve “would harm our military readiness” and called on Democratic and Republican lawmakers to “enact legislation that prevents it from taking effect” if Trump continues to push the policy.
“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,” she said. “Anything else is not just discriminatory, it is disruptive to our military and it is counterproductive to our national security.”