Op-ED: The PA National Guard deserves the right to Medical Freedom

Everyone deserves the opportunity to make their own medical decisions.  This is especially true for our brave men and women who wear the uniform in service to our country.

The Pennsylvania National Guard has had a rich history serving the commonwealth with dignity. For over 270 years, our brave Guard members have dedicated their lives to protecting and supporting Pennsylvania’s citizens.

In 1747, Benjamin Franklin led approximately 600 “gentlemen and merchants” to sign the Articles of Association.  The founding “Associators” were tasked with defense against Indian raids and French privateers.  It didn’t take long until other volunteer soldiers heeded the call and formed units throughout PA.

Eight years later in 1755, the Pennsylvania Assembly passed the first Militia Act which formally authorized the volunteer militia. In 1870, the term “militia” was replaced with National Guard of Pennsylvania.

Today, the Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the largest National Guards in the United States.

Both in times of war and peace, the National Guard has stepped up to protect our citizens and to defend our nation.  Whether it’s supporting war operations or responding to natural disasters and state emergencies, the commonwealth can always count on our guard members to answer the call to duty.

PA owes a great deal of gratitude to our brave brothers and sisters for centuries of dedication and sacrifice.  It is more than troubling that our Guard members, after years of service, now must fight for their basic human rights and medical freedom.  We cannot afford to lose any of them due to an unfair, unscientific, and misguided vaccine mandate.

The Department of Defense recently ordered all service members to be vaccinated.  Pennsylvania Guardsman have until June 30th, 2022 to comply.  The same people who defend our rights, protect our citizens, and support our state are now being threatened with disciplinary action, loss of pay, and discharge. All for simply choosing to exercise their medical freedom.

The DOD mandate is all in spite of the fact that there is scant evidence that shows the unvaccinated are any more likely to spread COVID than those who are vaccinated.

Oklahoma has become the first state to reassert its state authority and take a bold stand against the forced vaccination policy. The Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard declared in a policy memo that the organization will not be enforcing the Defense Department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on its troops.

This has inspired me to take action here in the Keystone State.  I am introducing legislation to ensure members of the PA National Guard will not be required to receive a Covid-19 Vaccination. The legislation will further state that no negative administrative or legal action may be taken against members of the guard who refuse COVID-19 vaccination.

Preserving the right to choose when it comes to a newly developed vaccine is the least we can do for the men and woman who answered the call to service. 

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