CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A lowcountry veteran is describing President Donald Trump's desire to not allow transgender people in the military as baffling.
Aerographer's Mate Second Class Rhys Stewart-Crabtree served four years in the Navy as a transgender person before settling in North Charleston. Five month ago, he began to transition.
Under President Trump's directive, Stewart-Crabtree would not be allowed to serve the country.
"It's like, 'Why do you feel the need to ban us?'" he said. "I just can't wrap my head around it. I just don't understand the blatant discrimination and the blatant fear that impregnates that."
In a series of tweets posted on Wednesday morning, President Trump wrote that the government will not "accept or allow" transgender people to serve in the military.
Stewart-Crabtree, who also worked as a victim advocate in the Navy, said he fears more service members will commit suicide because of the mandate.
"They're people. They sign that dotted line. They should be treated like human beings with human decency, and they're not getting it," he said.
According to CNN, a 2016 Rand Corp. study estimates the number of transgender service members to be between 1,300 to 6,600 people.