I Vow to Continue to Advance this Fight Forward

My name is Laila Ireland.

I am transgender, a woman, a person of color, and a retired 12-year Army veteran.

In December 2003, I joined the military right after 9/11 happened. I joined because I come from a long bloodline of people whom have served in the military. My father and grandfather, and even my great grandfather. Though the military culture has changed with every generation, the mission has always stayed the same - to protect and defend the United States of America.

I’d listen to my father and my grandfather tell stories of their days in the military. How they were in Korea or when the US triumphed over the victory in Germany. But with those victories were also the stories of the men they fought alongside that were last in battle. How trusting one another and building camaraderie was paramount to survival on and off the battlefield.

It was a sense of pride from a culture I acquired growing up. Learning to put others before myself, how to be disciplined, and how to have pride in everything I had and did.

I myself have deployed twice during my military career. During those deployments, I formed the same camaraderie with the soldiers I worked with. The very same camaraderie that my father and grandfather spoke of. As a perceived gay male, I learned to survive even while serving under ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ (DADT). Being deployed, it quickly became apparent that any given day could’ve been the day I would not return home. So entrusting my life to the people to my left and my right became routine every day I woke, put on my uniform, and went out on mission.

When I decided to transition in 2012, I realized that this journey would not be an easy one. Even though the DADT ban was repealed a year earlier, it was not inclusive to transgender service members. Trans service members were still banned from service due to outdated military policy. Through my transition, I met many service members like me along the way. They became my family and provided a home away from home. In this journey, I would meet my husband - Logan Ireland - who is also a transgender service member himself.

We both joined the advocacy group SPART*A. A group established, operated by and for actively serving United States transgender service members all across the globe. And through SPART*A, we connected with the film making team of TransMiltary, which for years has been documenting our journey in this fight for our right to serve. Because we have learned that sharing our personal stories is the most powerful way we can make change happen. Starting from the snowy day in January 2015 when a few of us made a treacherous path into the Pentagon to meet with top brass officials to give a face to the trans military movement, to the week that former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ended the trans service ban, to Wednesday morning last week when America was caught by surprise by the infamous tweets made by President Trump, transgender troops have been doing their jobs, speaking their truth and making a difference every single day.

In late 2015 I finished my career in the military. Even though I have hung up my boots, I am very proud of my service to this country. As a transgender veteran and a spouse of an actively serving transgender service member, I vow to continue to advance this fight forward. Through the stories we share, through the advocacy work that we do, and through the service that our trans service members provide every day.

PCiaf4IZ

Contributing Editor: Laila Ireland

Laila Ireland, Veteran, SPARTA Membership Director and TransMilitary Advocate.

The White House

49 Comments

  • Cynthia
    Posted August 6, 2017 1:51 pm 0Likes

    Thank you for your service! 🇺🇸

  • Pingback: DMPK Testing
  • Pingback: bandar judi
  • Pingback: scr888 login
  • สล็อตปลาทอง
    Posted December 1, 2017 9:13 am 0Likes

    I all the time used to study post in news papers but now as I am a user of web
    thus from now I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

  • Pingback: http://coehuman.uodiyala.edu.iq/
  • สมัคร scr888
    Posted December 14, 2017 11:20 am 0Likes

    I blog frequently and I genuinely thank you for
    your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest.
    I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  • สล็อตออนไลน์
    Posted December 15, 2017 9:24 am 0Likes

    I always used to read paragraph in news papers
    but now as I am a user of net thus from now I am using net for
    posts, thanks to web.

  • สล็อต
    Posted December 24, 2017 4:07 am 0Likes

    If some one wishes to be updated with latest technologies then he must be go to see this website and be up to date all the time.

  • scr888
    Posted December 26, 2017 4:30 am 0Likes

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been using?
    I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more secure.
    Do you have any recommendations?

  • Pingback: GVK Biosciences Pvt Ltd
  • Pingback: law lawDiyala
  • Pingback: GVKBIO news updates
  • Pingback: web.snmptn.ac.id
  • Pingback: Yusuf kısa
  • Pingback: Kuruganti Events Organizing Company Hyderabad
  • Pingback: warehouse for sale
  • Pingback: http://guaranteedppc.com
  • Pingback: forex
  • Pingback: Free UK Chat Rooms
  • สล็อตออนไลน์
    Posted February 19, 2018 6:44 pm 0Likes

    Hey there are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • สล็อตออนไลน์
    Posted February 20, 2018 4:12 am 0Likes

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this web site, because i want enjoyment, as this
    this website conations actually fastidious funny stuff too.

  • สล็อตออนไลน์
    Posted February 20, 2018 5:44 am 0Likes

    hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up
    something new from right here. I did however expertise a
    few technical issues using this website, as I experienced to reload the site a
    lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will
    sometimes affect your placement in google and
    can damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of
    your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you
    update this again soon.

  • สล็อต
    Posted February 20, 2018 7:12 am 0Likes

    What’s up friends, how is everything, and what you desire to say about this paragraph, in my view its genuinely remarkable in support of
    me.

  • Pingback: green coffee
  • Pingback: Innovation Tree
  • สล็อตออนไลน์
    Posted February 27, 2018 6:48 am 0Likes

    I was very happy to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!!
    I definitely really liked every part of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff on your blog.

  • Pingback: __p1
  • Fun Site
    Posted March 27, 2018 5:10 am 0Likes

    I really like this website a lot. Hot pickles!

  • Blog Post
    Posted March 30, 2018 1:28 pm 0Likes

    Has anyone ever told you that this is the best site on the Internet? Well, it certainly is!

  • Blog List
    Posted April 1, 2018 3:16 am 0Likes

    Way to go!

  • Quck Car
    Posted April 3, 2018 1:31 pm 0Likes

    This site smells so good.

  • Fast Breakfast
    Posted April 4, 2018 2:18 pm 0Likes

    I really liked reading this while eating a sandwich.

  • Fake Nike
    Posted April 5, 2018 9:52 am 0Likes

    I sure wish I was reading this in a hot air balloon.

  • Dog Delivering Groceries
    Posted April 6, 2018 2:51 pm 0Likes

    No one seems to know what’s going on with that pot of noodles on the stove. I know not a least one of you have looked at them.

  • Pingback: Face moisturizer with snow algae
  • Too many cooks
    Posted April 15, 2018 3:14 pm 0Likes

    These two better settle their score now before everything ends up burnt!

  • Can you hear me now
    Posted April 18, 2018 10:01 am 0Likes

    This guy has something very important to say!

  • Couple in movie theater
    Posted April 21, 2018 7:14 am 0Likes

    This has to be the happiest couple on planet Earth!

  • Couple has the best seat in the house
    Posted April 21, 2018 11:12 am 0Likes

    These two sure know how to enjoy a movie!

  • Relaxing while reading the newspaper
    Posted April 22, 2018 2:59 am 0Likes

    Nothing makes him more happy than reading a newspaper underneath a tree.

  • Even doctors like chocolate
    Posted April 22, 2018 7:32 am 0Likes

    Nothing is more relaxing than eating chocalate!

  • The future of kitty cats
    Posted April 22, 2018 8:04 am 0Likes

    This is what the future holds for kitty cats.

  • He likes to be their first customer in the morning
    Posted April 22, 2018 9:39 am 0Likes

    Expect to see him when the restaurant opens every day.

  • Kitty Futurology
    Posted April 22, 2018 1:11 pm 0Likes

    This is the future of kitty cats.

  • Doctor enjoying chocolate
    Posted April 22, 2018 5:21 pm 0Likes

    Doctor bite right into a chococlate bar.

  • Very cute kitty
    Posted April 23, 2018 3:03 am 0Likes

    Isn’t that a cute kitty?!

  • guy waiting at door
    Posted April 23, 2018 3:37 am 0Likes

    He’s just waiting patiently for the place to open up.

  • Pingback: Premature Ejaculation

Add Comment