Voices from the Tennessee National Guard: Soldiers Who Have Not Taken the COVID Vaccine Face Discrimination

I am one of the hundreds of Tennessee Guardsmen, thousands of Guardsmen nationwide, and tens of thousands of military service members that are currently being discriminated against due to our religious beliefs.

There was a time not so long ago when having the Personal Courage and Integrity to stand up for what you believe to be morally and ethically right was celebrated as Army values; no more. Now, those of us who believe in the sanctity of preborn human life, that the divine spark of God ignites life at conception and that life is sacred and deserving of respect, are being systematically purged from serving our country.

Those beliefs and adherence to them are now career-enders, despite doing what we were told to do in trusting the process and the character of leaders to carefully consider our Religious Accommodation requests. That trust in our leaders has apparently been misplaced, because to date, only members that were already scheduled to leave the service have had their religious exemption requests approved. This is despite [the fact] that in almost every court case to date, the judge has ruled that the military is unjustly and unlawfully denying them.

We’ve been isolated, and promotions have been held. We’ve been publicly shamed; our medical status is no longer private and can be discussed openly in front of large groups of people in violation of HIPAA laws. Commanders have told us that we are “misguided” and called us conspiracy theorists for saying that organs were harvested from aborted children and are linked to these vaccines.

But these facts can be easily verified simply by going to the websites for each of those pharmaceutical companies and reading their own documents, and the methodology used for development and testing their products. For those of us who are pro-life, abortion is simply murder, cold-blooded murder of the most innocent human beings.

There is no statute of limitations for murder. And I don’t care “how far removed” as our Chaplain corps have tried to call it, those murders were, they are still reprehensible and repugnant in the eyes of God.

I’m a mother of four, and a grandmother of five. My youngest daughter and her husband just had their first child. She’s 4 months old now. When I hold her, I think about the tens of millions of unborn children that didn’t have a choice and will never have a voice.

Many of them had their organs removed and sold for research that would lead to the “betterment of mankind” just like those “far removed cells” that were used in these vaccines.

And yes, it still happens today!

In only a few months we went from having top ratings in our evaluations to not even being considered fit to wear the uniform anymore. We don’t even have an advocate for this. Our command teams for the most part are hostile against us, and even the very people who should be defending us, the Chaplains, dismiss our concerns. We see story after story of service members committing suicide because of the pressure being applied to put something into their body that they know to be detrimental physically and/or spiritually or face being thrown out as a troublemaker.

Many of them have nowhere to turn because their leaders have told them that they are insubordinate and worthless, and they know that even the Chaplains are not in their corner. They feel isolated … because they are. And they feel that their leaders don’t care because for most, they don’t.

As a child, I had a taste of discrimination because I grew up Hispanic and poor. I joined the TN National Guard later in life at 40, for patriotic reasons. What I enjoyed about being in the Guard is serving with my fellow Soldiers and the respect that everyone showed regardless of race, background, or beliefs. I have to say that I was treated with respect and never felt discriminated against … until now. Now I am discriminated against based solely on my religious beliefs.

This is a clear violation of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1994, and the First Amendment to the very document that every person that wears this uniform at one time swore to support and defend.

Governor Lee, I’m asking respectfully, as the Tennessee National Guard’s Commander in Chief, to advocate for YOUR Soldiers. End this unlawful order against us and allow us to continue serving our country and our great state.

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This commentary is by a current Tennessee National Guard member.
Photo “Tennessee National Guard Members” by Tennessee National Guard. 



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