The transgender community honors our veterans

Dear Readers,

Cynthia has penned a beautiful post to honor our veterans that I wanted to share. In a sense, it’s a spiritual followon to my post from Memorial Day this year – What does the Freedom to Crossdress Cost?

Despite the slow progress we see in some parts of the country, we as a community we enjoy tremendous freedoms here in the United States. Freedoms that many of our sisters around the world are denied.

Thank you to all the veterans, for your service and for your sacrifice.

-Vanessa

The Sacrifice of the Few to Protect the Freedom of the Many

As Veterans Day in the US comes this Wednesday November 11th, I wanted to write a brief post about the sacrifices our veterans (and those of all peace-loving nations) have made to protect their countries from those who would enslave or harm us.   I WANTED it to be brief but found it impossible to be but SO brief so bear with me as it goes a little longer than I originally hoped.

I am the proud descendant of a career Air Force officer who served both enlisted and officer for over 21 years including serving in Vietnam in 1967-68.  In addition my mother also served as enlisted and officer until leaving for the medical reasons –of having and raising seven children!  Many think about the dangers of military service-the very real possibilities of death not only in combat but in routine training missions. It is a dangerous job! But that only tells half the story.

The other half is the sacrifice made by both the service-members AND their families.  Military family life is exponentially more challenging than that most non-military families experience as the military family has all the normal challenges of relationships.  But then on top of that are the frequent moves(in some cases like ours approximately every 18 months), the periods of Temporary Duty(TDY) that can run from several weeks to as much as 90-120 days(often with minimal notice) and of course the even greater separations when the service-member is deployed into combat zones.  Not only does the spouse (I’ll use “wife” but there are now cases where the husband is the non-military member) who’s left behind has to take care of all the household business and the kids by herself, misses the intimacy of the marital relationship and –oh yeah- the possibility that her spouse might not ever return or might return with severe disabling injuries!

Society unfortunately does not compensate these warriors and their families enough for the sacrifices they make out of a sense of honor and duty.  So I think it is incumbent upon each of us to at least take the minimal step of thanking any vets you see for their service and sacrifice and let them know they are NOT forgotten!   WE have lost most of the vets who served in World War II due to old age and Korean vets will not be far behind.  (See the article at the end of the post).

The other thing that would benefit them greatly is to contribute money (if you are financially able- or time if you can’t afford to spend the money) to organizations that support vets and their families. An example that I want to start supporting with contributions is the Fisher House which provides FREE lodging to the families of vets who return to be treated in VA hospitals in the states for recovery and therapy. These families may spend months hundreds or thousands of miles from home to be with their injured spouse or child and the Fisher Houses allow them to stay on site at VA hospital campuses so they can support their relative as they recuperate. The site if you want more info is at https://www.fisherhouse.org/  A $10 donation covers the cost of providing lodging for one family for one night so even small donations make a difference. Of course there are other organizations that you can support-see the article for a link to a list of worthy causes.

I want to donate in memory of all the vets I have encountered in my life as family or friends.  That already large group now includes all of the members here on the site who served proudly in the military.  God bless them for making the sacrifices they did so I could live in a free society.  I hope that each of you will thank a vet this Wednesday and if you can that you help by donating time or money to help the vets and their families. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Veterans Day By the Numbers

Tom Purcell | Nov 09, 2015

“I had no idea that many men and women have served our country in our armed forces.”

“Ah, yes, you refer to Veterans Day facts and figures shared by the U.S. Census Bureau. Did you know there are 19.3 million U.S. veterans living today? Roughly half are 65 and older. Nearly 2 million are under the age of 35.”

“That’s interesting stuff. Those older than 65 served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and the 2 million under 35 served mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan after 911?”

“You are correct. According to statistics released by the Department of Veterans Affairs, World War II vets are dying at a rate of approximately 492 a day. This means there are approximately only 855,070 veterans remaining of the 16 million who served our nation in World War II.”

“The greatest generation!”

“My father served in the Korean War. He is 82. Of the 5.7 million who served during that war, 2 million veterans are still with us.”

“What about the Vietnam War?”

“Of the 8.7 million veterans who served in that horrific war, 7 million are still alive. To round out the numbers, 5.5 million veterans served during the Gulf War era, which spans 1990 to the present. Roughly 4.4 million veterans served during peacetime. Other veterans had it awfully tough.”

“How so?”

“Nearly 63,000 living veterans served during the Vietnam War and both periods of the Gulf War. They served from August 1990 through August 2001 and then from September 2001 and beyond.”

“God bless them for their service.”

“Some of our living veterans served through three wartime periods! Nearly 37,000 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.”

“Wow.”

“The makeup of the armed services is changing as our demographics change. Though nearly 80 percent are ‘non-Hispanic white,’ nearly 12 percent are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, 1.5 percent are Asian and nearly 2.5 percent are Native Americans, Alaskans and Hawaiians.”

“What about women who serve?”

“Those numbers are growing, too. There are currently 1.6 million female veterans in our country.”

“We are lucky to still have these men and women with us and the purpose of Veterans Day is to honor all of those who have served. But what about the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country?”

“Did you know that nearly 1 million Americans have died for their country? Approximately 4,500 died during the American revolution.”

“I did not know that. What about our bloody Civil War?”

“Bloody is the right word. Nearly 370,000 Union soldiers and 135,000 Confederate soldiers died during that war. We lost nearly 120,000 veterans in World War I and nearly 405,000 in World War II. The Korean War claimed 34,000 and the Vietnam War 48,000.”

“Those are sobering numbers.”

“If there is any silver lining as far as war goes, it is that our modern war-fighting techniques and medical technologies are resulting in fewer battlefield deaths. Of the 1.5 million who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have suffered approximately 6,500 losses. However, nearly 50,000 were wounded and many of them are still suffering from their disabilities.”

“We need to do more to help our suffering veterans.”

“That is exactly what Veterans Day is about. It is a special day when we honor all of those who have served. It is also a great day to give back.”

“Give back?”

“We can volunteer at a local veterans’ organization or provide financial support. CharityWatch.org has a list of legitimate organizations that provide help and resources to disabled veterans. I’m going to donate $50 now.”

“Now that’s the kind of Veterans Day number I prefer!”

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*skippy1965(Cynthia)

The Original Cyn, or OC for short. Cynthia is from Richmond Virginia, she crossdresses every day (lucky gal!) and has a knack for tracking down niggling technical issues so we can fix them. She is also on a journey of self-examination to figure out where her feminine journey will lead her, and is always willing to talk with others about their feelings and questions or her own.

Latest posts by *skippy1965(Cynthia) (see all)

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9 Comments
  1. JaneS 4 years ago

    This is a great post and one that should draw attention to the issues of service in the defence of our relative countries. Given the nature of CDH, it is important that we all keep in mind that many from within the transgender community have proudly served their respective nations in various services. I know of a number of Afghanistan and Middle Easter veterans who are either CDs or who have actually transitioned, including the high profile Australian transwoman Group Captain Cate McGregor AM.

    Although some have been in the wrong place at the right time (perhaps, as they are still alive their families would suggest that they were in the right place at the right time) and not experienced actual combat, their service meant that they still experienced many of the more harsh rigors of service that you mention.

    For we in Australia tomorrow (11th of the 11th) is called Remembrance Day and it features second on our commemorative calendar behind Anzac Day (25th April). On those days many of us who have served, and many still serving pause to remember the legacy we inherited and for which, for a while, we were custodians.

    Many of us in the transgender world simply aspire to have the freedom to be who we wish to be and to live our lives as we choose. That is a freedom that has been earned at great cost and is still denied to so many. Tomorrow I will proudly wear the decorations that attest to my service whilst holding in my heart the belief that one day soon I will be confident enough to do so as Jane.

    • Michelle 4 years ago

      Thanks ladies for your kindness and consideration of us veterans.I also served in Viet Nam in the82nd Airborne Recon and I will shake the hand of every vet I come in contact with and I ask them to stay strong for their buddies because when the bullets fly all you have is each other to lean on.As we say in the 82nd “all the way”.

  2. Denise 4 years ago

    Thank you both Cynthia and Jane for your comments and homage. As a proud 18 year US Veteran myself, who served during the Cold War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, also growing up as a military brat having been born in Germany, traveling all over the world, dad serving two tours in Vietnam and retiring after 20 years, Veterans today still have a very special place in my heart. I’ve experienced the pain of a loved one deployed in hostile places, waiting to see if they come home, deployed myself on more than 3 occasions to combat environments, dodging bullets from folks I didn’t even know, hoping and praying that not only my vehicle, but those of the team I was with made the trip successfully, loosing team mates, consoling families and friends (while keeping an upper chin myself), finding a way for myself to cope with it all……..not even taking into account my own transition feelings at the time……yes, those who serve their country have a very special place in my heart. THANK YOU to all the Veterans who have faithfully served their Country when they needed it the most. Today is a day for remembrance, to honor those wearing a Uniform, both at home and abroad, in time or war and in time of peace. I continue to serve today, not in uniform, but to pay homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country. We don’t always agree or understand why we have been sent to places, to do what can seem at the time to be an impossible mission, idiotic rules, unforgiving public perception, or even constantly changes to the Rules of Engagement. Yet, we freely and voluntarily serve. THANK YOU Veterans, for my life would be so much more different if you had not taken the mission, if you had not found the courage to complete the impossible, if you had not found a way to “charlie mike”. In addition to the already mentioned Veterans sites, I ask you to also consider this one….The Wounded Warriors Project. http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ When you come across a Veteran, please tell them THANK YOU, for believe me, they have earned that simple courtesy.

  3. Author

    Jane and Denise,
    Thank you for your kind words and even more for the additional comments. WE can never thank them enough for all they gave up for us. God bless those who are willing to fight and possibly die to protect the rights of those who turn around and condemn them for being who they truly are.
    Cyn

  4. Christina 4 years ago

    I want to leave a very heartfelt thank you and God bless you Cyn, for your beautiful post. I had no idea when I joined how wonderful this site could be that we could share so much about ourselves, let alone our military affiliation.

  5. Louise Rowan 4 years ago

    I would rather read posts about crossdressing and that is the point of this website.

  6. Cynthia Marie 4 years ago

    Cynthia great piece of journalism. I served a little over 20 years and was in Berlin before the wall came down. Unless you had been there you could not imagine how east Germans reacted to US military and westerners in General. Knowing this it saddens me greatly to see how many Americans take our basic freedoms for granted. And how the pledge of allegiance is no longer done in our schools. But I know that my comrades in arms served along with me so that people have the basic freedoms that so many others are denied through out their lives.
    So again thank you for the kind words.

  7. Author

    MArie,

    Thank you for you r comments. My parents were stationed in Berlin in the mid 50’BEFORE the wall and when the streets still had lots of rubble from WW2 ten years earlier.(and my two brothers were born there!) Then we lived in two places in WEst Germany in the late 1960’s! Thank you for your service and for fighting for the freedoms SOME of us at least still hold dear!

  8. Char 4 years ago

    Although I’m a little late in posting on this article Cyn, I want to say thank you!
    A great movie/documentary to watch is on Netflix called Lady Valor, the Kristen Beck story and I’m sure many of you have seen it as well as Soldiers Girl, the story of Calpernia Adams and Pvt Barry Winchell. Both brought tears to my eyes and determination to my soul..We are all soldiers in our own way and may we find the courage to keep coming out of the trenches in full support of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…
    Namaste’

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