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They Got Me

Posted Mar 31, 2022 by Ray Patrick

On 30 March 2022, I reluctantly went and got the HECKIN’ VAXXERINO at my local pharmacy. Those who know me would probably be surprised to hear me say this. Here’s how it happened:

No Jab, No Job

It was clear from the political landscape in 2020 that the COVID vaccines, initially optional for military members due to the FDA’s emergency use authorization, would eventually be mandated from the top down. The administration also attempted to make the vaccine mandatory for any company with 100 or more employees, as well as any company doing business with the federal government. Those two mandates were eventually overturned in court, but the military would get no such protection. Regardless of its risk level or origin, virtually any chemophrophylaxis can be given to troops if the mandate to do so is couched in language regarding “readiness.” If it does end up being unnecessary or harmful, don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology (or even an acknowledgement) from the government. In fact, we’ve heard this song before. Do you think “Gulf War Syndrome” really came from Iraqi chemical weapons?

The Word Comes Down

When the Pentagon mandated all troops receive the vaccine back in September 2021, I applied for a waiver. Naturally, it took quite a while for that paperwork to move up the ranks. In the meantime, I was encouraged by the fact that the first two colonels in my chain of command actually approved it! However, once it reached the Field Command level, the general shot it down. After that happened, my only remaining option was to appeal the decision all the way to the Department of the Air Force. I was under no impression that going closer to the White House would find anyone more sympathetic to my request. Still, it was the right thing to do. I carefully wrote a lengthy appeal letter, restating my original position and answering each of the points made by the Field Command when they denied my request.

You Can’t Fight City Hall

Unsurprisingly, the Air Force Surgeon General denied my appeal. The form letter I received from HAF/SG, nearly identical to the one I received from my Field Command, made it clear that HAF/SG didn’t read my appeal at all, or that if they did, they made no effort to answer my arguments. If it turned out that those at the highest levels were never even shown my arguments, I wouldn’t be shocked. What came across their desk was likely something of this nature:

Member has requested not to get the COVID vaccine. Please make a selection:

☐ Deny

So the ultimatum from HAF finally came all the way back down to my squadron. I was given five calendar days from that notice to 1) begin the COVID-19 vaccine regimen, or 2) apply for separation or retirement. Since I’m not eligible for separation or retirement, this was really a choice between the vaccine or an other-than-honorable discharge. After weighing my options, I reluctantly concluded that getting the vaccine was the best bet. Discharge under other-than-honorable conditions would make it very difficult to continue providing for my family.

I Get Vaxxed

When I showed up at the pharmacy counter and said I was there for a COVID shot, the doc asked if I had my CDC card. It took a little back-and-forth until he understood that, three years into this situation, I was actually there for my first dose.

“We were about to run out of doses,” he said, perplexed. “We just got some in case any seniors want their 4th shot.” I followed him to the waiting room.

“So, what questions or misgivings do you have?” he asked me. He had correctly assumed that I must have been holding out for some reason. I briefly went through my reasons for being hesitant, explaining that I wouldn’t bother to get it if I weren’t being forced to.

“Ever been infected with COVID?” he asked me.

“Not that I know of.”

“Wow - good for you.” He started getting the shot ready. “The good news is, this thing really isn’t a big deal anymore.”

Great, I thought. Almost as though there’s really no point to this.

“So you’re concerned about myocarditis?” I told him I was. “Thing is, that can happen with just about any vaccine. Even infection with COVID or something else can cause myocarditis - it’s autoimmune response that does it. It’s pretty rare, though, probably on the order of 5 cases per million. We’ve given about 6,000 of these shots just at this pharmacy alone, and nobody has had a serious reaction. Ever reacted to any shot before?”

“No,” I said.

“You’ll probably be fine, then. If you’re really concerned, just wait another week or two longer than normal before you get your second dose. It won’t make that much of a difference.”

And with that, it was done. After hanging around for 10 minutes in case I had an allergic reaction (I didn’t), I walked out with my brand new CDC good-boy card. I was uncomfortable that afternoon, like you get sometimes with a regular flu shot, but since then I’ve been fine.

I’m Fine - But This Is Still Wrong

Obviously, I am now one among the millions of people who have received this vaccine without any incident. This has not changed my opinion one bit on whether this vaccine is necessary or whether this mandate is right. Even though most of the people I personally interacted with throughout this process were polite and had good intentions, the situation itself is sad and could have been prevented if only wiser heads had prevailed. Despite the well-meaning of many people caught up in it, this situation has also been steered to evil ends by people who seek undue control over human lives. It wasn’t long ago that an anchor for a national news network publicly stated his belief that the unvaccinated shouldn’t be allowed to work or buy food. Don’t be deceived: although the media coverage has moved on to the next shiny object, that totalitarian mindset is still out there among our self-styled elites. It won’t be long before it resurfaces under the guise of the next “crisis.”

Consistency with My Faith

Lest anyone accuse me of being inconsistent or turning my back on my principles, I would hasten to remind you that our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we are supposed to imitate, submitted to the earthly authorities even though - unlike me - He was absolutely innocent in everything. As I said when I first mentioned this subject, I am a servant. God’s word instructs us in several places that to obey our earthly masters is pleasing to Him - even when our earthly masters are in error. This is a hard commandment to follow for most, and I am no exception. However, since I am serious about following Jesus, I must keep His commandments (John 14:15). I praise God that, as a 21st-century American, I can do so without forfeiting my life! Though I will always be disgusted by this mandate, I have a sense of peace knowing that, since I fear God, I can have no legitimate fear of anything else.

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of malicousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even herunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

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Topics: covid politics