Stephanie Heart is a decorated veteran who fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Heart earned a purple heart in 2004 while serving in Iraq.
"There's a strong tradition of military service in my family and when it came to my time, I realized that was the only way I would have some career" said Heart.
Her career covered eight years in the military but she faced her toughest fight off the battlefield.
"I had a big house, cars, motorcycles, and in the end it didn't matter because I wasn't who I was", said Heart. "I had always known my entire life who I was and that I wanted to become female".
Transgender military service members like Stephanie are now in question under President Trump's proposed transgender ban.
"It's just going to feed into the perception of people that don't know us and don't understand us and think we can't do anything", said Heart.
Being misunderstood has often made Stephanie a target.
"I had my car keyed once and they did $2,000 worth of damage to the paint job on my mustang", said Heart.
Stephanie has never let the actions of others stand in the way of being who she is. She has now become an advocate, providing a much needed resource for transgender youth..
"We have a very large transgender community here in town and the fastest growing population is actually the trans youth, so some of our work is creating safe spaces for them to go", said Heart.
With a ban still in question, she says her efforts are needed now more than ever.
"I'm still a soldier and I will always fight for what is right whether I'm wearing a uniform or not wearing a uniform", said Heart.