Under Other Than Honorable Discharge

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

The one thing a transgender soldier, airman, sailor or Marine did not want to happen is to be discovered as transgender.  Before June 30, 2016, if you were found out you faced being tossed out of the military.  That was bad, you did not want to leave except at the end of your enlistment.  If you had a nasty commander you might end up with an “Other Than Honorable” discharge, that made being discharged even worse.

transgenderMilitaryYou spent your entire military service in a deep lie.  Afraid of being found out.  If you lived off base you had a closet to hide in when off duty.  But, you probably would not invite anyone over.  If you lived in a barracks you were stuck unless you had a separate room.  But, you were always afraid of inspections which might find panties in your locker.  You were always looking over your shoulder if you went to clubs or on a date.

Today, July 1, 2016, life has changed for those in the military who are transgender.  Think back over the sequence of changes which have hit the Pentagon during the last years.  Gays and Lesbians, okay to serve.  Women allowed in combat MOS.  Transgender service men and women allowed to serve openly.  Read the last two sentences again.

Taught to kill in basic training and then kill in other ways in more training.  That is every soldier’s life.  It does not matter if you wear a skirt or coat and tie off duty you learn how to pull the trigger on duty.  In America that has been going on since the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Many transgender people have served honorably and many of died fighting for our country.

A question is asked about why enlist in an organization which you know does not want you?  For some, they have a deep sense of patriotism, a sense of duty.  Many see military service as a way to see the world.  More than a handful see it as a way of proving to themselves, and others, that they are man enough or strong enough or tough enough, and not feminine (denial of being transgender).  And, during wartime, combat is a way to commit suicide covered in glory and a flag.

Today I am so happy for so many transgender people in uniform.  They no longer need to hide who they are.

Yes there will be push back by some.  But, it is the military and the orders are issued to treat trans soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines the same as every other soldier, sailor, airman and Marine.  You do not disobey legal orders in the military.

For so long this day was a dream.  A dream that I expected would never come true.  Now, this day is so happy.  A deep relief has come over me as it has many others.  I know of others who cannot know of this day, they are dead.  The cause does not matter anymore.

More Posts By Blue Bronc


Gender Bending Military

Christian Science Monitor: “As the United States armed forces begin to integrate women into combat roles, some of the historically masculine terminology used by various branches is becoming obsolete. On Monday, the Marine Corps announced the decision to rename 19 different military occupational specialties (MOS) to be more gender neutral.”

CNN: “The Pentagon said Thursday it was ending the ban on transgender people being able to serve openly in the U.S. military.The announcement — which removes one of the last barriers to military service by any individual — was made by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who had been studying the issue for almost a year.”


The Little Engine Who Could

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

“Throughout my career, I’ve never been afraid to stand up for ordinary citizens whose voices are drowned out by special interests, big corporations, and powerful insiders,” Zephyr Teachout said in a statement. “I’m running for Congress to give people their voices back so together we can address the real concerns facing our communities.” – Times Union (Albany, NY) January 25, 2016.

Zephyr TeachoutZephyr Teachout is running for Congress in the 19th District of New York, which encompasses part of the Hudson Valley. On Tuesday she won her Democratic Primary race. She is a Fordham Law Professor, an activist for social & economic change, a supporter of Occupy Wall Street. She ran in the 2014 NY Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, receiving a remarkable 34% of the vote against Andrew Cuomo. Her approach to issues is commonsense: for example, gun violence should be researched & addressed as a public health issue. She is fearless, intelligent, a person who looks at things and asks not why, but why not.

One August Sunday morning I read a tweet of hers mentioning she was riding a train to a meeting during her 2014 Primary run. “The Little Engine Who Could” I thought, going up against the thoroughly rotten Albany Machine. Teachout wasn’t afraid to take on anyone then & is exactly the type of public servant we need in government now. Good Luck, Ms. Teachout, on November 8th. Help make the Legislative Branch work again. For us.

More Posts by SJWNY

Note from Craig to Trail Mixers: I welcome your posts like this about key races we should be following and supporting. If Hillary is to win this thing, as it looks like she will, House and Senate campaigns like this are vital to her success as president.


She says tomato and he says tomahto. Let’s call the whole thing off.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Respond to Istanbul Airport Attack:

“Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads?” Trump asked. “They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire.”

It was unclear if Trump was advocating for the United States to allow the same kind of behaviors that ISIS and other terror groups employ. A request for clarification went unanswered by the Trump campaign.

Clinton — the presumptive Democratic nominee — responded to the attacks, meanwhile, with a statement of solidarity that harkened back to her days as U.S. secretary of state.

“Terrorists have struck again in the heart of one of our NATO allies — and all Americans stand united with the people of Turkey against this campaign of hatred and violence,” she said. “Today’s attack in Istanbul only strengthens our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical jihadism around the world.”

She stressed the need for the U.S. to “deepen our cooperation with our allies and partners in the Middle East” to confront the threat of terrorism.

“Such cooperation is essential to protecting the homeland and keeping our country safe,” Clinton said.

More Posts by PatD


Kelly On Deck

kelly-ayotte-reelection-fight-rGuess who’s worried about reelection? Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire was one of only two Senate Republicans to vote for a Democratic bill that would prevent people on the no-fly list from buying guns.
maggie hassanDemocratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who trails Ayotte by a single percentage point according to a recent Boston Herald poll, accused Ayotte of “trying to have it both ways” after she voted against a proposal that sought to increase background checks for prospective gun buyers.