View Full Version : Marine Jailed For Refusing Vaccine

07-09-03, 07:47 PM
Marine Jailed For Refusing Vaccine
Associated Press
July 9, 2003

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - A Marine helicopter pilot who refused on religious grounds to receive an anthrax vaccination was dismissed from the Corps on Tuesday and ordered to serve seven months in prison.

1st Lt. Erick Enz pleaded guilty during a court-martial to disobeying the order of a superior. He faced a maximum punishment of five years confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and dismissal from service.

Enz could serve as little as 30 days based on a pretrial agreement, The Daily News of Jacksonville reported.

Enz, a father of five and Bible study group leader, said he prayed for guidance before researching the potential adverse affects of the vaccination and refusing inoculation.

Military Judge Col. Steven Day ruled earlier that Enz's objection on religious grounds would not be allowed as evidence.

Department of Defense officials contend that the vaccination is safe, as do military doctors.

A September 2002 U.S. General Accounting Office survey of 1,253 soldiers who received the anthrax vaccination found that 84 percent suffered minor reactions. At least 24 percent had major multiple "systemic" reactions, the latter more than 100 times higher than the estimate of the manufacturer.

"The people who refuse this are not the dummies or the troublemakers," said Lt. Col. John Richardson, a retired Air Force pilot who has criticized the vaccine. "I get two to three unsolicited calls or e-mails a week sometimes as many as five a day from kids who are sick. Someone has to stand up and do the right thing."