Should discharged military anti-vaxxers be reinstated with back pay?
SALT LAKE CITY — Should military members who were discharged for refusing the mandated COVID-19 vaccine receive back pay from the federal government and be reinstated to the US armed forces?
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says yes, but a Utah veteran of the war in Iraq says it’s never a good idea to allow a soldier or sailor to refuse a direct, lawful order.
Earlier this month, as part of a compromise for the annual defense spending bill, the Pentagon ended the vaccine mandate for military personnel.
“I do think that we still have to worry about those [in the military] who have already been fired. We owe it to them. Our national security depends on it in many ways. Recruitment is down. Morale is down partly because of stuff like this,” Lee said.
We owe it to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces to reinstate members dismissed for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine WITH backpay. pic.twitter.com/fvs6ib49nP
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) December 7, 2022
Army veteran Braden Weyment joins KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic with Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to discuss mandatory vaccinations in the US military.
Weyment said he had a problem with getting the anthrax vaccine while in battle in Iraq in 2003.
“In the middle of combat, the medics would come in and we were given anthrax vaccines. And I think my total was around eight [shots]. They did away with that later in that summer. But there was no anthrax in Iraq. There was no threat. I had a problem with that one, but I didn’t refuse it,” he recalled.
Reinstating military members with back pay
“As a military vet, do you agree with Senator Mike Lee on this? Do you think that these individuals who are discharged for refusing the COVID 19 vaccine should be reinstated with back pay?” Debbie asked.
“I don’t. And the bottom line is that the soldiers and sailors were given a direct, lawful order to take it. Whether it’s right or wrong is up for debate. I’m glad the mandate’s gone. But in speaking with my brother — he’s also active duty right now — it boils down to well, if they refuse this order, and we go overseas, what other orders are they going to refuse,” Weyment said.
Debbie said she agreed with Weyment on this issue.
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
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