Letters to the Editor: Unvaccinated soldiers are leaving the military. Good

A serviceman receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Feb. 9, 2021.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: There are at least a couple of problems with the logic used by those in the military refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.

I find it hard to understand why many are worried that the shots “were too new for their risks to be fully understood.” It’s a tough argument to make when roughly 9.37 billion doses have been given worldwide.

Add the fact that those who volunteer for military service do so knowing they could be deployed where bullets and bombs are being aimed at them on a daily basis. Is that not high risk?


Also add the unknown long-term health effects of being infected with COVID-19 and all the variants that are rapidly spreading worldwide.

I guess it may be a good thing that those thousands defying orders to get jabs are leaving military service. Part of their job is to obey orders and have at least some understanding of true risk to oneself and others they serve with.

Greg Starczak, Santa Barbara


To the editor: How very sad that the obviously hard-working, intelligent women at West Point are willing to throw their future careers away by refusing to follow an order for the good of their fellow cadets as well as society in general.

On the other hand, if witnessing the success of the vaccine in protecting people from severe illness and death over the past year has failed to sway them, perhaps it’s best that they do not become officers in the military, given their unwillingness to follow orders and to recognize scientific evidence.

Maybe their real reasons for leaving are as one former cadet stated: “When I got there, it didn’t turn out to be like I thought it would or like I planned.”


Ann Morgan, San Diego


To the editor: One of the former West Point cadets in your article cited her concern about the long-term effects of vaccination against COVID-19.

Following multiple polio epidemics, vaccines finally came out in the 1950s. Virtually everyone got the vaccine, because we knew the short-term consequences of infection: not being able to breathe, being put in an iron lung, paralysis and death.

Similarly, those of us who choose to be protected against COVID-19 understand the short-term consequences of not being vaccinated: respiratory failure, filling up hospital beds, transmitting the virus asymptomatically, and death.

Polio is now virtually gone from our world thanks to vaccination. Tragically, the same cannot be said for COVID-19. We stand on the tracks, ignoring the oncoming train, worrying instead about what may hit us long into the future.

Rodney Williamson, Arcadia