Transgender Military Ban Raises Concern at VA

Aug 24, 2017

Officials with the VA hospital in White River Junction are stressing this week that veterans are welcome at the hospital regardless of gender or sexual identity.

Details of new White House guidelines for the Pentagon emerged Wednesday and were confirmed by NPR. Under those guidelines, transgender people will be banned from enlisting and those in active service will be subject to removal at the discretion of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Locally, at the VA hospital, that's led to increased concern that LGBTQ veterans will not seek out care, or will think they'll lose their benefits if they come out.

“We definitely would like to stress that our transgender population can still be seen here,” said Katherine Tang with the VA in White River Junction.

The White House is expected to formally announce the new guidelines for active service members in the coming days.