KGUN 9 On Your SideNews

Actions

Transgender veteran remembers brave men and women

Posted at 9:35 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-12 11:40:08-05
Veterans Day is a day to remember all the brave men and women who sacrifice their lives for the freedom of the United States of America.
 
One local woman speaks out about her time in the United States military despite being forced to resign because she was transgender. 
 
Erin Marie Russ says while she doesn't wear a uniform anymore, she is a soldier and will remain one until her last day on earth. 
 
It's been nearly 30 years since Russ has served in the military but says her blood will always run green. 
 
She says she was born to fight battles and chase windmills since the age of six. Adding, "In my heart, I was a soldier from that point on and that will never stop."
 
In 1990, her dreams to make a career in the Military came to an end when she was forced to resign her commission after an incident off base disclosed when was trans. Since then, she has spent 26 years wishing things could have been different and every year on Veteran's Day, she honors every man and woman who has made the ultimate sacrifice to fight for the freedom of this country. 
 
"It means that people are still dying and fighting for ideals that are sometimes questionable but it's not ours to try and figure out the reasons that that have decided to do things," says Russ. 
 
While she no longer puts on a uniform Russ says she's still a soldier. "Every time I think about soldiers right now overseas fighting for someone's freedom I am remembering that I should have been there."