Opinion

Lawmakers Introduced Bill to Prohibit Military from Dishonorably Discharging Troops for Refusal of Vaccine

Several lawmakers introduced The COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act. The bill is designed to prohibit the military from dishonorably discharging troops for refusal to take the Covid vaccine. Currently the military says anyone who refuses the vaccine will face punishment that can include discharge under the UCMJ.

Prohibit military from giving dishonorable discharges for refusing Covid Vaccine

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U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Marshall, (R-Kan.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) today introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act to prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from dishonorably discharging service members for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The House Armed Services Committee recently passed similar language led by Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) in an amendment to the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation comes on the heels of President Biden mandating millions of Americans-including service members-to get vaccinated and the DOD issuing guidance stating that service members who refuse the vaccine will face “administrative or non-judicial punishment to include relief of duties or discharge.”

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Sen Ted Cruz website 9-21-2021

A dishonorable discharge negatively affects troops who receive it. They can’t access the G.I. bill for further education. They can’t get VA benefits such as veteran-specific home loans and medical benefits. Treating them the same as a criminal is plainly wrong. The new bill specifically says that a military member who refuses the vaccine cannot receive anything other than an honorable discharge.

As a physician and veteran who is confident that the vaccine has saved countless lives, I believe vaccinating our service members against COVID-19 is an important effort; however, whether or not to receive the vaccine should be a personal choice between an individual and their doctor. Service members who refuse to get vaccinated, and are subsequently separated from the service, should not receive anything other than an honorable discharge. There is no question about it: American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices.”

Sen Roger Marshall (R-Kansas)

The problem with mandates is that it denies natural immunity, prior medical issues, or any other sound science. Having had the vaccine myself, I can testify that it caused a nasty immune reaction – because my natural immune system was strong at the time. I survived it after a few hours in the ER. However, it’s a fact that some do not. It’s why personal choice matters. Your primary care doctor knows (or should know) you well enough to determine if it is safe for you. Being forced out of the military based on a personal choice is bad enough. Dishonorable discharging someone for refusing a vaccine that may or may not be deadly is why this new bill is important.

A large number of US troops planned lawsuits over the mandate, according to WUSA9 on September 10, though the effectiveness of such actions is at the very best unclear.

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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