Having served in the military for more than 20 years, Anton said that he is “shocked and frustrated to have only received lukewarm responses from a couple of senators and their staffers."
"For the most part, there hasn’t really been any action," Anton told The Epoch Times, using a pseudonym for fear of reprisals.
“Injuries to my fellow service members are happening right before our eyes and we know the solution [stopping the mandate], but no one is doing anything about it,” Anton said.
As more injuries come to light, Anton said he's disappointed in senior military and civilian leadership.
“They are each in their own way aware of the ill health effects on our service members or the negative impact on our military’s readiness, and yet they remain silent,” he said. “They justify their silence as obedience to military orders because that is easier than to acknowledge their own lack of moral courage.”
Anton has spoken to senior leaders who don't want to risk their next promotion.
“We are clearly promoting the wrong type of officers as promotions were not the motivation that defined the character traits of past military leaders who served sacrificially, won wars, and preserved freedom for another generation,” he said.
“In the military,” Anton said, “people are willing to die for their country and the men and women standing right next to them.” While current senior leadership may be willing to lay down their lives for others, he is concerned that “they are not willing to lay down their careers to speak out on what’s going on.”
“Dying for the country is merely a platitude coming out of leadership now,” he said, adding that ignoring the negative effect of the vaccine on the military is "undeniable" proof of that attitude.
Grounded But HopefulChief Warrant Officer (CW4) Aaron Murphy (a pseudonym) is a command pilot in the Army’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter, the Boeing AH-64 Apache. He has over 15 years of flying service.
“When the [defense secretary] made it mandatory, I went out and got the vaccine like I did all the other vaccines in the past,” Murphy told The Epoch Times, using a pseudonym over privacy concerns.
Admittedly, he waited as long as possible to get it, allowing some time to note any adverse reaction for others who had already taken the vaccine.
“Because I thought it was valid at the time, I chose to take the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine on Aug. 24 .”
“Within four minutes of the injection, I felt a tingle go up my arm, into my neck, and into my head, and immediately felt like I was going to pass out,” he said. In addition, his blood pressure plummeted.
“After about an hour of lying there with my feet propped up, I was finally able to get back up and walk out to my vehicle, trying to shake it off as if it were no big deal,” Murphy said.
However, he said he couldn’t make it through the remainder of the workday and made the decision to go home. The next day, he experienced a fever, a sore back, and significant fatigue, and was under the impression that these were all normal symptoms after taking the vaccine.
On his commute to work the following day, he began to experience “stroke-like” symptoms.
“I couldn’t breathe, as my breaths were too rapid, and the dizziness and mental confusion were overwhelming,” he said. “It was honestly a feeling of impending doom.”
Shortly after reaching out to his wife in distress, Murphy was able to compose himself enough to make it to work.
“But was still struggling to breathe and to tell my boss that I was going home,” he said. “Fatigued, dizzy, and in denial that I should have gone to the emergency room, I spent the next few days in bed, hoping I could sleep it off.”
A few days later on a Sunday morning, he said he was sitting in church when it happened all over again.
“I was short of breath, dizzy, and turning pale, so my wife took me home,” he said. “For the next several months, I felt like I was on a boat.”
He has also been bothered by abnormal fatigue and a reduction in cardiovascular exercise capacity ever since, Murphy said.
By October 2021, Murphy was able to schedule an appointment with a neurologist who ordered tests involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and magnetic resonance venography (MRV). According to the radiologist, “the MRI and MRA came back normal,” he said. “However, the radiologist was unable to observe my left transverse sinus vein [with the MRV scan],” he added.
Murphy had been grounded from flight since August 2021, and without a medical diagnosis for the problem, he began to attribute his symptom to vertigo. And as a result, a primary care physician ordered physical therapy. After three months of physical therapy, he showed improvement.
“I was thinking we found it, and vertigo was the issue.”
By March this year, Murphy was medically cleared for flight.
“I flew from April through July, but that came to an unexpected end,” he said.
“While another neurologist agreed that my MRI and MRA looked fine, a second look at my MRV in August of 2022 led him to diagnose me with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).”
There was a thrombosis, or blood clot, in his left transverse sinus vein beneath the brain that was previously undetected, according to the diagnosis letter, which was viewed by The Epoch Times.
The neurologist in the diagnosis wrote that the thrombosis is a “possible result” of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine.
Murphy has been grounded and non-deployable since July because of the blood-thinning medication prescribed to him. He has been directed to continue the medication in the months ahead, and schedule an additional MRV in December for analysis.
Still Standing But UncertainPrior to the vaccine mandate in January 2021, Army Lt. Col. Allyn York (a pseudonym) said he “saw the writing on the wall and knew it would be coming.” In August of that year, the veteran of 20 years took the vaccine to comply with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s mandate.
York considered himself “diligent in researching” the available vaccines.
“I inherently didn’t trust the mRNA vaccine, so I chose the Johnson & Johnson, based on the information that it used traditional virus-based technology and seemed like the safest one available,” he told The Epoch Times, using a pseudonym over privacy concerns.
“I’ve taken every vaccine the Army has offered, but I’ve never had one knock me out like this,” he said. At his wife’s direction, he hydrated himself and took aspirin to combat the symptoms of fever and fatigue.
However, within a week, York felt like he was having a heart attack.'
“I had chest pains, issues in my left shoulder, tingling in my fingers and feet, and muscle spasms,” he said. “I never thought I was about to die, but it’s really unpleasant when you’re dealing with issues of the heart.”
He said physicians aren'T typically assigned to organizations outside of a wartime environment, but he was fortunate his unit has physicians available.
“I was told to see a doctor right away because it could be a case of myocarditis,” he said. “And when I did, the doctor sent me to the emergency room, concerned about blood clots.”
“Screening revealed swelling in the connective tissue of my chest, but I wasn’t sure that was the full story, as I continued to feel like someone shoved a stick in the middle of my heart,” York said. “Nonetheless, over the next couple of months, I just kind of dealt with it.” He continued to exercise, and by November 2021, his symptoms faded away.
He was advised to have an echocardiogram and other tests due to a concern about myocarditis—a type of inflammation of the heart—particularly because York may have needed to be in the position to refuse vaccine boosters or seek a medical waiver, and required adequate documentation to do so.
“Based on the results of a month-long heart study and the fact that I continue to run and exercise regularly, I’m being told that I had what would be considered a mild case of myocarditis that could have resolved itself,” York said. The Epoch Times has viewed documentation that confirms this diagnosis.
“Even though I’m still experiencing some strange chest phenomena, and I can’t say I’m not unconcerned, my future is in God’s hands,” York said. He currently awaits further testing by a cardiologist.
Anton, Murphy, and York emphasized that their views don’t reflect those of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Armed Forces.
Neither the Department of Defense nor Johnson & Johnson returned requests for comment from The Epoch Times.