Elyce Powers

I am a US Army Veteran; I spent all of my four years in the Army with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) out of Fort Campbell, KY.  I deployed to Iraq in October 2007, for over a year in support of the 2d Brigade Combat Team (502d Infantry Regiment). The military has been a part of my life for the last ten years, as I am also married to a man with a far more impressive military resume than myself.

Right now the team behind the “Vaxxed” film is traveling around the country, filming anecdotal stories to further perpetuate a fear of vaccines. Recently I came across a video featuring former “Army Medic” Sherrie Saunders, and her story about the Anthrax Vaccine. With my background and knowledge on this subject, I was instantly alerted to a number of blatant lies streaming across my screen. Of course some of these claims may sound impressive to someone with little to no knowledge of the Army/Military, but I can see past this senseless rouse.

This is what I took away from this video.

Saunders states that she was an Army Medic with 75th Combat Support Hospital, which is an Army Reserve Unit partially based in Tuscaloosa, AL. This means that Saunders was a reservist; essentially she was committed to serve one weekend a month, and two weeks out of every year for annual training.  I did some digging and Saunders’ Facebook profile (which was linked with the video) lists her high school graduation year as 1992. The Gulf War ended in early 1991. Saunders, a reservist from ’92 on had nothing to do with the Gulf War.

Combat Support Hospitals (CSH, pronounced cash) in the field are for emergency medical care, triage, and getting the sick and injured stable for transport to a better facility. The 75th CSH is not a place, rather it is a unit. This reservist CSH is spread far and wide around the United States, they only join together during annual training (two weeks a year) or in the instance that they become activated. Army Medics are first responders, they are not nurses or doctors, it is the Army medic’s job to get the injured to the hands of someone better qualified to save their life. A CSH is not the place where hospice care would be provided, especially a reserve CSH which isn’t a 24/7/365 operation. Realistically, whichever sub unit of the 75th CSH that Saunders was a part of certainly operated out of an Aid Station, which is essentially a small triage room. Additionally there is a full service Veteran’s Affairs (VA) hospital in Birmingham; dying veterans are also allotted civilian hospice care near their home of record (this is what we opted for while my dad was dying). Knowing all of this I can conclude that Saunders story of caring for a dying Soldier with the 75th CSH is a total farce.

Saunders blames the Anthrax vaccine for Gulf War Syndrome. I am infuriated whenever I hear this claim, It devalues and totally ignores what Gulf War Veterans experienced.  While it is true that Gulf War Veterans did receive the Anthrax vaccine, they are casualties of war, not vaccines. Gulf War Veterans were also exposed to a number of airborne pollutants; burning human waste, trash, dust and exhaust. I only had a desk job, yet still left Iraq with a souvenir of titanium in my lungs, forever.

There are other ailments that have been found to afflict Gulf War Veteran’s at higher rates as well, including Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Extensive research on Gulf War Veterans can be found, HERE.  

Saunders’ claim that this “dying Soldier” had Gulf War Syndrome, even though he did not deploy, is totally bogus too. It’s called Gulf War Syndrome because it only afflicts veterans of the Gulf War, as in people who actually had their boots on the ground.    

There is no known link between the Anthrax vaccine and Gulf War Syndrome. As a veteran of the Iraq War I have personally received a total of six Anthrax vaccines, I know this because I looked at my records. In the video Polly Tommey claims that Soldiers were injected with unknown vaccines, there is a website called MEDPROS where these Soldiers can view their vaccination records. Vaccinations are a requirement to deploy, the Army keeps very good records of the vaccines Soldiers receive in order to keep them in a deployable status. Furthermore, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has to provide care and disability payments for all veterans damaged by their service. Why would the military intentionally make service members ill? This claim doesn’t make any sense, they still have to pay sick Soldiers.

I highly doubt that Saunders ever received, or even administered a single Anthrax vaccine in her time as an Army Reserve Medic.

Saunders claims that the Anthrax vaccine was created and distributed by Blackwater (Security Company), which is “owned by Dick Cheney.” I think that she used “Blackwater” because this company’s name is familiar to many with their dark past; it makes for a good conspiracy theory. This company isn’t owned by Dick Cheney, and it wasn’t founded until 1997.  Essentially Saunders wants us to believe that a security company, which wasn’t even founded yet, has something to do with vaccines, for some nefarious reason. Why would a (not yet founded) private security company give a random Alabama Army reserve unit the Anthrax Vaccine? Especially when that unit is not involved in anything requiring the anthrax vaccine? As Saunders said, this is about money; so why would the Army waste money on vaccinating reserve Soldiers for something they are not at risk for? They wouldn’t! I highly doubt that Saunders ever received, or even administered a single Anthrax vaccine in her time as an Army Reserve Medic.

Saunders claims that allergies to vaccines do not matter in the military, because “you are government property and everybody gets that vaccine.” This makes no sense, why would the government give their own “property” anaphylaxis? The Army has medical exemptions for this very reason. I did not receive the small pox vaccine because I reported having childhood eczema, a contraindication for this vaccine.

Saunders claims Soldiers are used by our nation for defense and protection; followed by saying that Soldiers are kept sick by vaccines to save the government money. This makes no sense at all. Why would you intentionally weaken your defense? Again, they still have to pay sick Soldiers, Soldiers are salaried employees.

Saunders claims Soldiers who make it 20 years get a pension and medical benefits, this is true. She then claims that a Soldier who dies ten years after joining saves the government “all kinds of money.” She must not know that there are survivors benefits paid to eligible surviving family members. Furthermore she must not be aware of the $500,000 life insurance policy every active duty Soldier has on them.

Saunders claims, “they want to get rid of people they trained, because we go into countries and we do things and see things…

Saunders claims that she pretended to be pregnant for four months before she was discharged so she didn’t have to get the Anthrax vaccine. The vaccine wouldn’t be given to someone who wasn’t deploying, let alone not even staying in reserve service.

Saunders claims that she got out of the Army (reserves) in 1997, at which point men in dark suits told her to keep her mouth shut. (They must have been from the newly formed “Blackwater”, in their blacked out SUVs…) Saunders claims her unit “got bested by Washington in their dark suits.”

Saunders, the unequivocal  hero of this story, was just trying to take the blood pressure of a (non-existent) dying boy… She should have just listened to that boy’s (totally real) grandma…

Polly claims that she talked to a Soldier who was 37 weeks pregnant, the Army was trying to vaccinate her with “everything they could!” Saunders agrees, she says pregnancy doesn’t matter, you will be given, all the vaccines. Wait a second; didn’t she pretend to be pregnant so she wouldn’t have to be vaccinated? Realistically that pregnant Soldier was probably offered a flu shot and TDaP according to CDC recommendation. The Army isn’t going to disregard contraindications on the vaccine insert. I served in the Army up until I was around 30 weeks pregnant with my first son in 2010, I was asked if I wanted a flu shot and I opted to get one. That was it.

Polly then talks about something reminiscent of the Edgewood Experiments (1955-75), like they are currently happening. Saunders then goes back to “Blackwater” and the vaccines, and some (non-existent) book she read. She talks about joining the military to be a hero (one weekend a month, two weeks a year), but she killed people with vaccines instead, that manufactured guilt must be unimaginable.

The video ends with hugs, lots of blinking, and a few tears; in addition to Saunders writing “Unknown (not real) Soldier” on the Vaxxed tour bus. 

What you need to take away from this.

These videos appeal to emotion, not logic.

If you watch these “Vaxxed” videos, watch them with a skeptical mind, they are meant to appeal to emotion, not logic. It would surprise me if you found a single one that is medically verified to be vaccine related. Vaccines do not cause Autism, or Gulf War Syndrome. Sherrie Saunders is far from a hero, rather she is the opposite. Her tall tales feed a fear that leads scared parents away from protecting their children. Her actions in this video are despicable.

If you would like to hear about a real hero medic, please refer to the story of my fallen comrade, Jessica

Updated 01/09/2017 to further support my statements above: 

The Clinton Administration announced the Anthrax Vaccination Program in late 1997. 

“Concerned about the possibility of germ warfare at home and overseas, the Pentagon has ordered that all 1.4 million active duty men and women in the U.S. military be vaccinated against anthrax.”

Furthermore, a later update stated:

“William S. Cohen, the secretary of defense, announced in late 1997 that all 2.4 million active and reserve military personnel would be vaccinated against the disease by 2003.

But in July, Mr. Cohen limited vaccinations to those most at risk to attack, in South Korea and the Middle East, because much of the nation’s vaccine stockpile was found to have lost its potency.

Now the military will vaccinate only personnel in the Persian Gulf region because of continuing production delays at the nation’s sole licensed plant for the vaccine.”

One thought on “Vaxxed: Tall Tales From The Road, Army Edition

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