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Alabama Veterans react To military vaccine mandates

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 5:57 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Our military continues to do their duty and protect the country, which includes following a mandate to get vaccinated against COVID-19. However, vaccination mandates are not welcomed by everybody. Officials across the country and here in Alabama are fighting them, but most of those who put on the uniform are getting those shots.

President Biden issued the mandate for all of those in the military to get the COVID vaccinations. Those in the Navy have until November 28th to be fully vaccinated, while those in the Army have until December 15th. The latest numbers showed about 92% of those in active service are fully vaccinated. There are exemptions available for medical or religious reasons. Those who don’t comply will face regular testing.

A number of current officers who are serving and were in Downtown Birmingham for the parade declined to comment on the mandate, but two retired veterans told WBRC it was no surprise to see many the military follow the mandate.

“When we came into the Army it was no question. You lined and you got your vaccination for everything in the world. I mean, you probably got ten or 15 different shots,” Retired Brig Gen. George Bowman said.

Others agreed. “It’s not a question of liking it or not liking it or believing or not believing it. When you are soldier, if we gotta do it, let’s do it and move on. It’s the old poem it’s not ours to question why ours to do and die. Not that you are going to die from it,” Retired Sgt. Major Mike Oakley said.

Still there are thousands of military personnel who have yet to get the vaccinations. Those who don’t meet the exemptions may face some disciplinary action but that will be left up to local commanders.

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