Military Heroes Are Facing Dishonorable Discharge

Sep 23, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Members of the military who have served with honor are facing dishonorable discharge for refusing the COVID-19 shot.

Liberty Counsel has been inundated with heart-rending pleas for help from military members who are being ordered to get the COVID shots or face discipline, including solitary confinement and dishonorable discharge.

A United States Marine who served in Afghanistan during Operation Freedom Sentinel and Operation Southern Vigilance is facing dishonorable discharge if he does not get the COVID shots. This service member graduated as the Honor Graduate of the class in a course meant for Corporals and Sergeants and is currently serving as an E4 (Corporal).

Having been diagnosed with two heart conditions, arrhythmia and right bundle branch blockage, taking the shot isn’t an option for this Marine due to the side effects of blood clots and heart inflammation being seen. The military personnel informed the Marine that the only way for a medical wavier was that the diagnoses would have to be congenital heart failure. He is also being told there are no religious exemptions.

“If I don’t stand for what I believe in, I could never look at myself in the mirror again. This is everything I’ve fought for and taught my Marines and everything our Founding Fathers stood against. This is completely unconstitutional and goes against more than one Amendment,” said an anonymous Marine corporal.

The Corporal is facing dishonorable and bad conduct discharge for refusing the COVID-19 shot. The punishment includes general court martial at the Divisional Commander Level, six months solitary confinement/imprisonment, a felony charge and never being able to get a home loan, own a gun or work a federal job.

As a member of the military, you may assert opposition to the COVID shots because (1) there is no COVID injection available that is fully approved by the FDA; (2) all existing COVID shots remain under Emergency Use Authorization and thus you have the “option to accept or refuse” the shots; (3) there has been no presidential declaration waiving the EUA for members of the military; (4) even if a presidential waiver is issued or when the Comirnaty version becomes available, members of the military may always raise the First Amendment right to the Free Exercise of Religion and request a religious accommodation; and (5) military personnel may also assert a medical exemption if that is applicable. The Department of Defense memo issued by the Secretary of Defense on August 24, 2021, specifically states: “Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance.” (emphasis added). 

The following summarizes the current status of the Pfizer-BioNTech shots:

1. All existing Pfizer vials (in the hundreds of millions), remain under the federal Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) (meaning people have the “option to accept or refuse”);

2. The third or “booster” Pfizer shot is identical to the above and remains under the EUA with limited use to certain categories of people;

3. BioNTech received FDA approval for people ages 16 and above under the name Comirnaty, but there are no Comirnaty doses available in the United States;

4. In other words, there is currently NO FDA approved COVID-19 injection available anywhere in the United States. Every COVID shot in America remains under the EUA law and thus people have the “option to accept or refuse” them; and

5. Even when an FDA approved COVID shot becomes available, military members may assert their rights are protected by law from being forced to get these shots based on their sincere religious beliefs or conscience rights. These rights include the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

On September 21, the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act was introduced to prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from dishonorably discharging service members for choosing not to receive a shot. 

Upon the introduction, Senator Ted Cruz said, It's an insult to our servicemen and women who have served with honor to dishonorably discharge them for refusing the COVID vaccine. It is the same way we dishonorably discharge those convicted of serious crimes such as treason, desertion, sexual assault, and murder. Forcing all service members, including pregnant women and those who have already had COVID-19, to receive the vaccine is just one more example of President Biden and his administration putting politics ahead of science. I am proud to join Sen. Marshall on this crucial bill to ensure the proper steps are taken by the military chain of command in response to those seeking exemptions from this vaccine.”

Soldiers dishonorably discharged would lose access to the GI Bill for further education, become ineligible for VA home loans or medical benefits, be unable to receive military funeral honors, not be able to re-enlist in another military branch, and no longer have a right to own a firearm.

Thousands of military service members are being forced to make a major life alternating decision regarding their health. American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices.

The CDC has reported that COVID-19 shots, given mostly to young men aged 16 to 30, is a new trigger for Myocarditis after the second dose. Military leaders have admitted that they knew the COVID shots caused heart problems. Military patients had symptoms of severe chest pain and significantly elevated cardiac troponin levels, which is a protein marker used to measure heart damage.

The dates active-duty personnel must be vaccinated for the different military branches are Nov. 2 for the Air Force, Nov. 28 for the Navy and Marine Corps. and Dec. 15 for the Army. Service members must choose one of the FDA EUA shots and are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final shot.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Our brave members of the military put their lives on the line for this nation. They are the heroes who have sacrificed to protect our freedom. Facing a dishonorable discharge is the ultimate insult. These heroes have fought for us. We will now fight for them.”

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