A group of former military personnel is taking legal action against the U.S. government over lost pay and benefits resulting from the Biden administration’s military vaccine mandate.
Attorney Dale Saran, along with colleagues Andy Meyer and Brandon Johnson, are representing these former troops in three distinct lawsuits with plans to consolidate them into a class action suit encompassing all service members affected by either expulsion or improper orders to cease drilling, leading to financial losses.
Saran, a retired Marine, emphasized the magnitude of the financial impact, stating that the compensation sought is in the billions. These lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a specialized court for addressing illegal discharges. According to Saran, approximately 80,000 to 100,000 service members, including both active-duty and reservists, have been adversely affected by the mandate. Over 8,000 active-duty troops were expelled, while tens of thousands of reservists were either instructed to discontinue drilling or moved to inactive status.
Saran highlighted the lack of due process in these cases, with no administrative separation boards, hearings, or other procedural safeguards. The absence of these standard procedures is a central aspect of the legal claims brought forth. Saran drew attention to the Coast Guard’s parallel actions, aligning with the broader impact on former service members.
Zach Loesch, a former Coast Guard member personally thanked by President Joe Biden for his efforts during Hurricane Ian, is among those seeking damages. Loesch faced expulsion from the Coast Guard for vaccine non-compliance just weeks after the president’s recognition.
Monetary damages sought by the former troops extend beyond lost backpay to include the repayment of enlistment bonuses. Saran explained the predicament faced by individuals who enlisted with the expectation of certain conditions, only to face vaccine mandates that contradicted previous agreements.
Saran revealed that, apart from being unjustly expelled, these former service members are now facing debt collection for enlistment bonuses and other financial obligations. The attorney emphasized that the Pentagon already possesses the funds necessary to provide backpay to those who lost active-duty or drill time, alleging that the funds have been wrongfully withheld.
Reflecting on his past experience with the Anthrax vaccine, Saran noted the similarities with the current situation, describing it as déjà vu. He recounted his involvement in the lawsuit Doe v. Rumsfeld that resulted in the cessation of the Anthrax vaccine in 1999 and 2000. Saran expressed frustration that, 15 years later, the government is once again embroiled in mass vaccinations involving unlicensed vaccines, suggesting a lack of learning from past experiences.