A transgender couple with North Texas ties who've both served their country say they're unnerved by President Trump's call to ban transgender service members.
Laila Ireland served the Army for 12 years. Her husband Logan is a Staff Sergeant, active duty with the Air Force, and a stream of tweets from the Commander in Chief put all their dreams in jeopardy.
"The American military was built on diversity," said Laila. "We have different perspectives from different places, and that’s what makes us the greatest military in the world."
Laila, from Hawaii, and Logan, from Flower Mound, Texas, were drawn together by what they share. Their love of country, and knowing what it feels like to identify as the gender not assigned at birth.
The transgender couple made the choice to share their story, in print and documentaries, including 'Transgender, in War and in Love' published by the New York Times.
"Logan and I both, individually and together, understood that in order to do something, we had to put ourselves out there, and that means sacrificing," said Lalia.
They felt their loss of privacy was all worth it on June 30, 2016 when the Pentagon lifted the ban on transgender service members.
"I turned to my husband, and it was like this weight that was lifted because now we saw what our work was accomplishing," she said.
But that changed Wednesday, with the words ‘will not accept or allow’ ‘in any capacity’ in tweets from President Trump, citing concerns over the medical costs and distractions he says trans military members create.
"There was a sense of panic, like, 'What’s going to happen?' said Laila. "We want to adopt children and raise a family and do it in the military because that’s what we know, but this puts a pause on that."
The couple says that fear is shared among thousands of members of special forces, doctors, nurses and pilots.
"We’re still service members fighting for the same liberties and freedoms that allow you to go on to Twitter and say what you want to say," Laila said.
But with no formal announcement from the Department of Defense, the Irelands are holding their breath, hoping Trump’s words that will keep them from serving, are just words.
"It’s tough to have to read, it’s a tough pill to swallow," said Laila. "But we have to keep moving forward, no matter what."
Logan Ireland is currently in leadership training in San Antonio, but shared his statement regarding President Trump's announcement on his Facebook page.
"For my President to deny an able bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice. I would love for my President to meet me, so I can tell him about the 15,500 honorably serving transgender military members that are fighting right now for their liberties and for their country."