The Pentagon has lifted the ban on transgender Americans serving openly in the military and announced that it will pay for current members of the armed forces to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
In San Antonio, Military City USA, transgender veterans hope the ruling will mean more medical benefits for them.
Antonia Celeste Padilla is still legally a man, but her Department of Veterans Affairs ID card identifies her as a woman.
Padilla joined the U.S. Air Force in 1978.
“I joined primarily because I was an Air Force brat,” Padilla said. “My dad had been a lifer in the military and I thought, ‘Hey, this will be a good thing for me to do because it will make a man out of me.’”
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