By Corinne Murdock |
Despite dedicating nearly two decades of his life to the military, one Phoenix man learned Wednesday that he may not receive the military benefits he’s earned, due to the COVID-19 vaccine and a Fox News interview. The fate of the man, an Air Force Master Sergeant named Nick Kupper, and thousands of other military members rests in the court system through ongoing cases like Doster v. Kendall.
Of well over 2.1 million American troops (over 1.3 million active duty and over 795,000 reserves), over 113,700 troops (5 percent) aren’t vaccinated. Nearly 269,000 troops (over 12 percent) are partially vaccinated, and 1.7 million troops (82 percent) are fully vaccinated. Of those who are partially vaccinated, only about 20,000 were granted temporary or permanent exemptions. However, it appears that those were exemptions in name only due to multiple reports that the exemption recipients were already scheduled to end their service.
Kupper appeared on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” last Thursday. He shared that several legislators were intervening in cases like his, but not enough to stop a forced mass military exodus that he warned would be detrimental for national security.
“After 19 years they’re going to throw everything away that I’ve worked for,” said Kupper. “This is not a problem to be solved for tomorrow, or the next day — this is a problem right now. You’re talking about over 10 percent of your military is looking to be canned right now. I mean, if I were China or if I were Russia, I’d be chomping at the bit right now.”
Kupper shared on Wednesday that he received his separation package for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine as well as a Department of Defense (DOD) letter of reprimand for appearing on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show. Kupper disclosed that the DOD accused him of aiding our enemies through his interview.
Kupper was relying on the retirement medical benefits to mitigate costs for his daughter’s disabilities.
However, the DOD determinations in Kupper’s case may not be set in stone. On Thursday, Ohio Southern District Court Judge Matthew McFarland issued an injunction preventing the Air Force from punishing those who sought a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine. That impacts around 10,000 service members nationwide.
McFarland was appointed in 2019 by former President Donald Trump under the bipartisan recommendation of Ohio Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The Air Force will have until July 21 to contend McFarland’s ruling. If unsuccessful, then the injunction becomes permanent.