For more than a week, the rumor wound its way through online networks of service members and veterans: Soldiers could now claim a 100% disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs if they were given bad batches of the anthrax vaccine from 2001 to 2007.
That was according to an internal memo from an operational Army unit— a legit guidance, drafted April 10 by the 2nd Battalion, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade at Osan Air Base, South Korea. The memo was posted online and has caused quite the brouhaha on social media.
But while the 2/35 used information that it thought was accurate, the Army now says that memo was, to use a scientific term, bullshit.
“Defense Health Agency representatives have verified the information is false and completely without merit,” said Christina Wright, a spokeswoman for 8th Army in South Korea. “Once the brigade discovered the error, the correct information was published to their soldiers.”
A Pentagon spokeswoman confirmed to Task & Purpose that no bad batches of the anthrax vaccine were given to service members. More information was expected to be released later on Thursday.
The April 10 memo said soldiers in the battalion who were at Fort Drum, New York, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from 2001 to 2007 could have received bad batches of the anthrax vaccine before deploying in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, soldiers who were given the bad anthrax vaccine could receive a 100% disability rating from the VA, the memo said.
After several reporters asked the Army about the memo, Wright sent out a mass email on Wednesday night to set the record straight.
“The potential side effects of vaccines, including anthrax, are generally mild and temporary,” Wright said. “While the risk of serious harm is extremely small, there is a remote chance of a vaccine causing serious injury or death. In those rare cases, VA disability or death benefits may be granted.”
Task & Purpose will update this story as more information becomes available.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.