Marc Hoover:
The controversial transgender soldier in the U.S. military

Donald Trump recently posted to Twitter that transgender people will no longer be permitted to join the military. And you can just bet that Trump’s administration is working on making it official. The reasoning is because President Trump doesn’t think the government should be spending tax dollars on any expenses associated with gender change. The Washington Post reported the government spends anywhere between $2 million to $8 million annually towards gender-transition-related costs.

Marc Hoover

The Times also reported the military spends more than $40 million annually on treating erectile dysfunction (ED) issues. Of course, ED is a medical issue that affects millions of men. Therefore, the American public may be more acceptable of treating soldiers with ED.

Many Americans have an issue with the military not wanting to pay for transgender related medical expenses. I have read many different opinions about the issue. While many Americans think the government should pay to treat transgenders, many other Americans support President Trump’s decision. It’s the same old argument about how taxpayer dollars should be spent.

When I was in the military back in the late ‘80s, gay people weren’t allowed to serve. After Bill Clinton became president, he changed the law so people no longer had to reveal their sexual orientation. The military hasn’t changed much since my service days. The government still has its preferences about whom they will allow into the military.

Many Americans, especially ones who have never served, have a misconception about the U.S. military. The military isn’t an equal opportunity employer. They can pick and choose whoever they deem fit to serve. They can rule people out with flat feet, asthma, hepatitis, or a host of other illnesses. For instance, they can be more selective than a local grocery store when it comes to hiring.

Joining the military isn’t a typical job. It’s not like working in a factory or in a restaurant. Each branch serves a specific purpose. While in the U.S. Army, I was told that every soldier’s first job is infantry, which means being trained for combat. The Army wants people whom they consider physically fit and mentally stable.

I have no issue with transgender soldiers. I figure if he or she has my back and is fit to wear the uniform, I don’t object to them serving. In the military, you always want to trust the man or woman in the next foxhole. But if the government excludes transgenders from joining, I can accept this.

During my time in the service, I am sure there were gay soldiers, but they had to hide their sexual orientation. Regardless, I had no issues with the soldier next to me. As long as they watched out for me, I would do the same for them.

I have also seen anti-transgender comments that the government doesn’t need to deal with soldiers that cannot decide on their gender. Supposedly, these people are confused. Since I am not a doctor, I cannot comment on this.

The public will have to realize that serving in the military isn’t like working at a local hardware store or a fast-food restaurant. Also, just because someone wants to serve in the military doesn’t mean they are entitled to. Not everyone is cut out to be in the military. Requirements are difficult and the life of a soldier is much different from what most of us are accustomed to doing for a living. The government tries to be selective of whom would be most suitable to defend the country under the threat of violence. With America having one of the most powerful military forces in the world, our government must continue doing what it thinks best to defend our country from foreign invaders.

Marc is a grandparent and longtime resident of Clermont County. Visit his author page Life with Grandpa and he also just wrote Just Bite Me: A Guide to Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Walking Nightmares, which is available on