Picture being unceremoniously forced to leave the service just a year before you could access your retirement benefits.
We are now witnessing this issue occur more and more frequently.
Recently, members of the Coast Guard who have served for 19 years submitted a formal request to exempt themselves from receiving the COVID vaccine on religious grounds.
My friend was unfairly discharged from the Navy after 18 years, all due to health issues stemming from when he and his peers were administered an experimental vaccine without their consent.
Despite a lack of benefits and no retirement plan, all you get is an unassuming pat on the back for your time served – not even so much as a ‘thank you' or an apology for disrupting your life.
Sadly, a multitude of Coast Guardsmen (as well as members of other branches) who requested religious exemption have been denied.
On December 1, Chris Harkins was unceremoniously removed from the Coast Guard after 19 years of distinguished service despite having no plans of retirement.
His retirement orders were determined to commence on January 1, 2024, leaving him a mere twelve months away from the golden number.
With his saved leave, he could have exited in June, so he was actually only seven months away from leaving.
This individual with an untarnished history is being dismissed solely for declining to get the vaccine, and it is downright preposterous.
It is disheartening to know that he's not the only one facing this struggle; tens of thousands of service members from different branches are experiencing the same difficulty.
As all branches of the service are struggling to recruit and retain personnel, this remains a major concern.
This has become an alarming national security issue.
It is deeply disheartening that these service members are being neglected in such a manner, and it's outrageous that nobody has taken the initiative to take action.