“President Joe Biden has signed the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act into law allotting $816.7 billion to the Defense Department…One of the more contentious items in the act is requiring the defense secretary to rescind the mandate that members of the armed forces be vaccinated against COVID-19.” Source: US DoD
In 1964 I spent a summer at what was then called Indiantown Gap Military Reservation to fulfill a training requirement to become a commissioned officer in the US Army through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. It gave those who attended a small dose of what a conscripted soldier would experience after induction. Part of that experience was to spend several days doing KP (Kitchen Police). One day I drew dish-washing, primarily coffee cups. I had just finished washing the cups (a few hundred) and was ready to rinse them when one of the cooks came by and looked at the cups. He said to me, “Rewash all of them.” He showed me the ring of grease around each cup that was floating in the “rinse” water and explained that that is what happens when the water is not hot enough and not enough soap is used. He also let me know that sloppy washing can put down entire battalions or more with intestinal maladies that can totally negate combat readiness.
Remember that Escherichia coli (e.coli) is not just a fancy Latin phrase, salmonella is not to be confused with salmon and you can’t move forward on the battlefield while seated on the porcelain throne. Diseases of all varieties, especially viruses such as COVID, are as major a threat to our armed forces as the opposing forces and certainly not to be self-inflicted, that is, until now as embodied in the 2023 Defense Bill. Sure soldier, skip the shot and let your fellow soldiers fend for themselves. It's all perfectly legal. Joe says so.
On my way to Viet Nam in 1968, I got every vaccination on the shelf and was delighted to do so. When I arrived there, I gobbled my malaria pills like holiday mints. I did it all for my health and for that of my fellow soldiers. It is called taking care of one another, a concept that is lost on the anti-vaxxer crowd. But then…
Congress in its fast-dwindling wisdom (the reservoir of critical thinking skills was not large to begin with) and Joe “The Pandemic Is Over” Biden decided that it was really OK after all to let the vaccine mandate slip into the memory hole and to condemn our service men and women (not to mention their families) to death and disability from one of the most dangerous viruses to come along in a hundred years. As for troop readiness? Who gives a rat’s ass? We can just lob nukes. Anyone can pilot a drone or push a button from a bed in the ICU.
Remember all this when next Uncle Joe tearfully finishes a speech with “And may God protect our troops”. But now he will have to add “…because I sure as fuck won’t do it.” The troops are on their own.
And Happy Holidays.
Ālea iacta est.