Senator Marshall: American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices
(Washington, D.C., October 29, 2021) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. spoke on the Senate floor yesterday about the Covid-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act, legislation he introduced to prohibit the Department of Defense from giving servicemembers a dishonorable discharge for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Senator Marshall said in part,
“Unfortunately, thousands of our heroes are about to lose those very freedoms that they have fought so hard to defend as Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is threatening them with a dishonorable discharge should they choose to not get the COVID vaccine… There are pros and cons – there are risks and benefits of taking this vaccine. And each of our soldiers all are using common sense, the common sense God gave them, and I respect their decisions. This Administration should too…There is no question about it: American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices.”
You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s speech.
Text of Senator Marshall’s Remarks as Prepared:
Mr. Madam President.
I come to the floor today in support of our men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line each day to defend our freedoms and our American way of life.
Unfortunately, thousands of our heroes are about to lose those very freedoms that they have fought so hard to defend as Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is threatening them with a dishonorable discharge should they choose to not get the COVID vaccine.
Let me be clear, as a physician and veteran who is confident the vaccine has saved countless lives, I believe vaccinating our servicemembers against COVID-19 is an important effort.
Deep down inside I’m still this rural doctor from Great Bend, Kansas and I believe in the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship, and that every one of our situations is unique.
A soldier’s clinical history is unique. There are pros and cons – there are risks and benefits of this vaccine. And each of our soldiers all are using common sense, and I respect their decisions. This Administration should too.
Right now thousands or servicemembers are not vaccinated.
When it comes to our guardsmen and women in Kansas, only 58% are fully or partially vaccinated.
Unfortunately, the policy out of a White House says, that one size has to fit all. That there is no exception even though we know that natural immunity to COVID is the same as, if not more powerful than the vaccine.
We’ve never asked people — military folks, especially — to get a vaccine for something they are already immune to and something that doesn’t affect them. It just doesn’t make sense.
Because of Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, thousands of American heroes are going to be separated from service and they are going to perhaps be given a dishonorable discharge.
Mr. President, I want to make sure this body and the American people understand the significance of what that means:
- They’ll lose access to medical benefits from the VA.
- They’ll lose access to home loans from the VA.
- They’ll lose access to the GI bill for further education.
- They’ll potentially lose the right to vote in some states.
- They’ll lose their 2nd Amendment rights and access to ammunition.
- They’ll lose military funeral honors.
- They’ll lose the ability to re-enlist in another branch of the military.
- And they’ll have an extremely difficult time finding employment.
Getting a dishonorable discharge may be the worst checkmark you can get in your life.
These sort of repercussions sound like they should be reserved for felons.
But oh no, this is what Joe Biden wants to hand down to our service members – this is insulting and we must put a stop to it.
For these reasons, I introduced legislation, the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act, to prohibit the Department of Defense from dishonorably discharging American heroes who choose to not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
There is no question about it: American heroes should not be treated as felons because of their personal medical choices.
This is one of a number of highly important issues for our national security that Leader Schumer and our colleagues across the aisle have put on hold while they go back and forth on how to spend taxpayers’ money on their radical agenda instead of finalizing the NDAA.
The annual defense bill is the only authorizing legislation the Congress passes every year – 60 years in a row – but, this is the 4th latest it has initially been brought up for consideration on the Senate floor in history.
Considering the foreign policy disasters this White House has created one would think delivering a paycheck to our servicemembers and funding to increase our military’s lethality would be top of mind.
Our troops deserve better, and I am calling on Leader Schumer to bring NDAA to the floor – our American heroes deserve better than this and we need to get to my amendment as soon as possible.
I want to thank Senators Cruz, Lankford, Tuberville, Cramer, Johnson, Rick Scott, Kennedy, and Wicker for joining me on this important legislation.
I look forward to continuing to work with them once we submit it as an amendment to the NDAA.
Thank you Mr. President. I yield back.