Should discharged military anti-vaxxers be reinstated with back pay?

Dec 27, 2022, 6:30 PM | Updated: Dec 28, 2022, 1:26 pm
virus testing...
In this April 7, 2020, photo released by the U.S. Navy, sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt move ready to eat meals for sailors who have tested negative for COVID-19 and are being taken to local hotels in an effort to implement social distancing at Naval Base Guam. People in Guam are used to a constant U.S. military presence on the strategic Pacific island, but some are nervous as hundreds of sailors from the coronavirus-stricken Navy aircraft carrier flood into hotels for quarantine. Officials insist they have enforced strict safety measures. (Mass Communication Specialist Julio Rivera/U.S. Navy via AP)
(Mass Communication Specialist Julio Rivera/U.S. Navy via AP)

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.

Defense bill rolls back Pentagon’s Covid vaccine mandate

“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.

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.


Should U.S. troops discharged for refusing COVID-19 vaccine be reinstated with back pay?

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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Should discharged military anti-vaxxers be reinstated with back pay?