The bottom line up front, by virtue of their occupations, aviators and special operations operators who work in both the hypobaric (pilots and free-fall parachutists) and the hyperbaric (undersea operators) environments are subject to extremes of physiologic stressors placed upon their bodies that, in a world of zero defect mission profiles, do not afford for unknowns.
The “unknown” in this case is the untoward effects of experimental drugs or drug regimens that are currently in phase three trials. Army Regulations, as I read them, have specific protective parameters written for just such defined occurrences.
Operators and pilots present extraordinary risks to themselves, and others given the equipment they operate, munitions carried thereon and areas of operation in close proximity to populated areas.
It is my professional opinion that to sidestep the safe and appropriate standards of care and not adhere to these fail-safe practices written in regulations, can, will and have results which contain deleterious second and third order effects.
Note that I have practiced medicine for 25 years, and served as a Flight Surgeon in Special Forces (Active and National Guard). My experiences during the Texas COVID response, where I served as a liaison to the Governor’s Task Force, only added experience to allow me to critically assess and formulate courses of action that have been successful in mitigating COVID in the ranks.
I was proud to serve Texans after recently completing nearly a year on the Texas border mission where soldiers and airmen of the Great State of Texas stand ready to protect our way of life. They deserve the best we can give them.
Unfortunately, several of my soldiers have experienced hospitalizations for serious diagnoses to include brain hemorrhages, myocarditis, anaphylaxis, pulmonary emboli and vertigo. These were all post vaccination. Army Regulations state we should be tracking these cases post immunization. Other concerns stem from the recent rash of suicides amongst soldiers serving on the mission. The added deployment stressors placed upon the young heroes paired with the unknowns of experimental medications concerns me.
I had warned the medical command and leaders to pay strict attention to these stressors as I was conducting an initial study early in the deployment. My study was cut short when I was ordered to focus only on convincing soldiers to take the vaccine and not to administer informed consents. That was paired with the knowledge that medical and religious accommodations would not be approved without some sort of administrative discharge if soldiers seek waivers.
Twenty years of war has taken it's toll on us. We were willing, perfectly willing, to lay down our lives for each other. On the same note, I am perfectly willing to risk professional scrutiny to protect my soldiers with the same zeal and love for their very existence. This is a different kind of war, a fifth generation war. It is not without it's wounded and killed in action.
Here are questions that troubles me. After becoming a "persona non grata" for exhibiting the Army Value of Personal Courage and practicing the safe standard of care medicine by an entity I have served for so long; 1) What will happen to my enlisted troops? 2) How many? How many soldiers, sailors, coastguardsmen, airmen and marines will experience adverse reactions, some of which result in disabilities or God forbid, death? 3) How many civilians will be innocent casualties of this war?
The psychologic effects of the last twenty years of mismanaged kinetic wars took a toll on our wellbeing, it contributed in estranging and hurting our families. Some of us have lost ours.
This war is the real war now. A war for humanity. The toll seems unbearable. But, I know that my God, our Nation's God, has His hands on us. And all things will work together for the good for those who are called according to His purpose. What we do now shall echo in eternity.
Stay the course and believe that all Americans are worth the sacrifices we make to keep us safe. I also believe, as a provider, in; “First of all, do no harm.”
De Oppresso Liber and Ever Stalwart,
Dr. Pete Chambers, D.O.
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