My name is Ms. Joni Sarah Duflo or just “Sarah Duflo.” I am an American Legion Member of Post 89 in Allegan, Michigan. I read your article on the first Female National Commander of the American Legion. I was interested in what she had to say about the Trans Military Members serving and the stand that the Legion is taking on the subject.
At this point I would like to point out that our post may have been the first post in the American Legion to elect the first female commander (not National, just local post). Her name is Ms. Tessa Pierce Thomas and was elected as Commander of our post in 2015 and had served for two years as our commander. Also when she was elected Commander, she was perhaps the first transgender woman in the American Legion elected as Commander. I myself had been elected as Sergeant-at-Arms to our post and I am still serving in that capacity. Although Ms. Thomas may be the first trans woman elected as Commander in the American Legion, I may be the first trans woman elected as Sergeant-at-Arms to any American Legion Post.
Our stance, Ms. Thomas’ and myself, the ban on Transgender individuals serving in the American Military is, on the part of our Commander-in-chief, a stupid and perhaps bigoted move that he could have done so far in his short term as our President. We believe any person able to serve and willing to serve our nation in the military should be able to serve no matter what their gender status may be. Any ban is discriminatory but banning the transgender from the military is pure bigotry and serves no purpose for our county’s defense.
Joni (Sarah) Duflo