View Full Version : Marine pilot dismissed, jailed for refusing anthrax vaccination

07-13-03, 06:49 AM
July 11, 2003

Marine pilot dismissed, jailed for refusing anthrax vaccination

Associated Press

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A Marine helicopter pilot from who refused on religious grounds to receive an anthrax vaccination was dismissed from the Corps and ordered to serve seven months in prison.
1st Lt. Erick Enz, of Vancouver, Wash., pleaded guilty during a court-martial Tuesday 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, a CH-46 Sea Knight pilot, could serve as little as 30 days based on a pretrial agreement.

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 in an earlier motion 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 at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital.

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.

Enz is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. Superiors and peers described him as a natural leader who was well-liked and respected.

“The people who refuse this are not the dummies or the troublemakers,” said former Air Force F-16 pilot retired Lt. Col. John Richardson of Raleigh, a critic of 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.”

Enz, 32, is a 1989 Hudson’s Bay High School graduate.

“God told him to obey and not to take the vaccine,” Enz’s wife, Keelee, told The Columbian of Vancouver. “He followed the Lord’s leading and he ended up serving some time. God has a plan for him in the future.”

The couple haven’t decided what they’ll do next.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.



07-13-03, 08:04 AM
"pleaded guilty ... faced a maximum punishment of five years confinement ..could serve as little as 30 days based on a pretrial agreement."

This is not a comment on the case at hand. But I am against "inadmissable evidence" (with the key word being "evidence"), plea bargaining, and pretrial agreements.

And, if a person takes a position on the basis of their religious or moral convictions, they should stand tall and not try to weasel out of the consequences.