Pentagon’s Handling of Vaccine Mandate Motivates Veterans, Military Families to Run for Office

A desire to continue defending the Constitution is another factor spurring veterans to seek political office.
Pentagon’s Handling of Vaccine Mandate Motivates Veterans, Military Families to Run for Office
Members of the The United States Marine Corps wait in line to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Camp Hansen in Kin, Japan, on April 28, 2021. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

Veterans and a military spouse running for Congress say that the Pentagon’s handling of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, along with the individuals’ desire to continue serving their country, has motivated them to seek political office.

Mara Macie, who grew up in Massachusetts, worked for a family business until 2006. Mrs. Macie said she witnessed “the failure of our Congress” firsthand when her husband and other service members reached out to their representatives in Congress in opposition to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s 2021 COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the military, which has since been rescinded.

“Many of those servicemembers were ignored, and most were told that there was nothing that could be done, which led to lawsuits, servicemembers being separated from the military, and disillusionment in our community,” she said.

Her husband is former Navy Seabee Ted Macie, now an active-duty Navy Medical Service Corps officer, who happens to be a whistleblower responsible for disclosing that incidents of myocarditis were on the rise in the military due to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Because the Hatch Act of 1939 bars federal employees from engaging in political activities, if service members can’t engage in politics, Mrs. Macie told The Epoch Times, “this leaves spouses of active duty servicemembers to step up to the plate and be the one to defend them, their freedom, and the Constitution.”

For this reason, Mrs. Macie is running for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 5th Congressional District, where the Macies and their four children have lived since 2020. Her initial effort fell short in the Republican primary against incumbent Rep. John Rutherford in 2022.

There’s something intrinsic that keeps Mrs. Macie motivated to run for office.

“I am a proud descendant of veterans, dating back to the Revolutionary War, and come from a big family of police officers, [and] I value truth, honesty, and integrity above money and self,” she said.

“And if our founders were willing to selflessly die to secure our freedom and success, so am I,” she said. “I cannot knowingly leave our children a country in worse shape than I inherited it.”

Defending the Nation

Cameron Hamilton is a former Navy SEAL, having served honorably between 2005 and 2015. He’s running as a Republican in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District; the current officeholder, Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger, is instead running for governor and isn’t seeking reelection.

“Many who have taken up arms in service of this nation do so with bold and firm convictions of the merits of the fruits of liberty,” Mr. Hamilton told The Epoch Times. For veterans, he said, the oath of allegiance to the United States is “critical” and “comes with the responsibility to uphold and defend truth and justice in the face of great trial and adversity.”

In past generations, he said, serving in the military was recognized as “one of the most noble displays of character and that bravery in challenging times was to be venerated.”

He pointed out that many elected leaders have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, “placing their personal safety and needs aside for the defense of others and this great nation.”

“Veterans are uniquely distinct from other public officials in their experience of physically defending this nation in a deeply personal manner,” he said.

“If more of our elected leaders had invested in defending this nation with their lives, many of these leaders would encompass more humility and push aside personal ambition and tyranny in favor of the improvement of the lives of others.

“It’s time we elect leaders of more noble character and with resolve, like those who have served honorably in the military. That’s how we can get this nation back on the right track.”

Honoring an Oath 

Nate Cain, an Army veteran of three and a half years, also served the country in a civilian capacity for the Navy and Marine Corps for nearly a decade. In 2017, while working for the FBI, he became a whistleblower against the Department of Justice over its refusal to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation on matters related to Uranium One and more.

Watching what he referred to as the “deterioration of the country through the years,” Mr. Cain said he began praying for “God to raise up righteous men and women to run for office and change the direction the country is headed.” To his surprise, he felt compelled to announce his own candidacy as a Republican for a House seat in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

With “a corrupt D.C.,” Mr. Cain said he saw the need for someone to have “the moral courage to do the right thing no matter what.” While it’s not always the case in today’s progressive world, he said doing the right thing for the country should be “an easy transition” for a service member.

“We, the former service members, all took the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he said. “Most people know who our foreign enemies are, but we also have an awful lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution right now.”

He said one such enemy would include those who “shredded the Constitution in regard to our First Amendment, stopping people from going to church because of COVID.” In another, he pointed out the censorship of stories relating to the laptop computer of Hunter Biden. He also called attention to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach prisoners who haven’t been given due process or a jury of their peers.

“The country is facing the most dangerous time the nation has ever faced,” he said.

He encourages other service members to honor their oath to the Constitution and consider having an effect nationally or locally, whether politically or otherwise.

Fighting for the Republic

After serving two decades in the Air Force, Nick Kupper was able to retire as a master sergeant.

“I was mostly intent on retiring around 20 years to be able to make time for my kids and family,” he told The Epoch Times. “But what galvanized that decision was the [COVID-19] vaccine mandate.

“At 19 years of service, I almost lost it all. I was going to be separated for not taking the vaccine.”

When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit decided Doster v. Kendall, the Air Force was barred from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for religious objectors. The decision saved his career.

“I was able to make it to retirement,” he said.

“When I saw our Department of Defense and our government trying to enforce an unlawful vaccine mandate, I realized how quickly our country is slipping away. It’s not the country I grew up in; it’s not what I want to leave to my children.”

That’s what he said helped to motivate him to seek office in the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 25.

“Just like the military, I feel like politics can be a very brutal place,” Mr. Kupper said. “Even when it’s pretty rough, someone has to be willing to step into it and fight for what’s right.

“We’re not the first military members to feel the need to go into politics, and we haven’t seen the harshest realities some of our former service members have seen.”

For example, he noted Dwight Eisenhower’s role as the U.S. military officer who commanded the victorious forces in Europe during World War II prior to becoming the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

“This was the worst war the world has ever seen, and while he was privy to the most horrific things, he must have still wanted to make the United States a better country after it all,” Mr. Kupper said. “If others like Eisenhower had the fortitude to soldier on [into politics], many of us can do the same.

“If good men do nothing, what do we have?

“We need to fight for our Republic, or we risk losing it.”