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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is preparing to introduce an amendment that would reinstate all U.S. service members dismissed for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine —including back pay.
According to The Daily Wire, “When the House Armed Services Committee marks up the National Defense Authorization Act, Gaetz will introduce an amendment protecting armed service members who refuse to get the COVID vaccine, reinstating members who were dismissed over their refusal at the same rank and grade, and providing back pay and benefits to the members who were dismissed.”
“I see the impact on our readiness from these mandates,” he said during a Tuesday afternoon phone interview with The Daily Wire. “We are hundreds of pilots short in the Air Force and and we’ve lost a number of pilots as a consequence of these mandates.”
From The Daily Wire…
As of late May, the Army had discharged at least 742 active-duty soldiers for refusing to get vaccinated, Military.com reported, noting that the number had more than doubled since the previous month.
The publication reported that 3,416 general officer reprimands, widely seen as “career killers in the military,” had also been given out to soldiers who refused the vaccine, and the Army had only granted nine out of 4,428 religious exemption applications.
“These are kitchen table issues in my district because I represent the district that has the highest concentration of active duty military in the country,” Gaetz says.
“I saw that in higher call volumes to our veterans service organizations,” Gaetz said. “This has compounded that malaise and frustration in our ranks because people feel like they didn’t have any agency in how the military that they’ve given their lives to is making decisions.”
Many service members’ religious exemptions were rejected.
“That violates the law,” Gaetz insisted. “Each exemption is entitled to an individual review, and our service members were denied that opportunity with these blanket form letter rejections.”
“Our military is not stronger today as a consequence of these vaccine mandate separations,” he added. “It’s weaker.”