“I…having been appointed a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…so help me God.” I spoke these words on 17 April, 2020, at a small ceremony at the United States Air Force Academy as I was commissioned to serve as an officer in the Air Force.
My classmates and I, along with the rest of the world, were in the middle of the so-called “Covid-19 pandemic,” and my family and closest friends had to watch me commission and graduate over an internet feed instead of being there in person. I made the sign of the Cross as I walked in front of the internet camera to flash my diploma across the screen, as a display that God’s grace had been the main driving force behind my graduation from the United States Air Force Academy and my commissioning.
Little did I know that less than two years later I would be faced with ethical dilemmas and downright disillusionment with Department of Defense policy specifically relating to abortion. As a devoted Catholic, serving in what some had tried to pawn off as an organization prizing “integrity, service, and excellence,” I began to face an interior struggle about whether I could ethically continue serving. This struggle has only intensified. Little did I know that life itself would be under attack by the organization that vows to defend it.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
Sign up to get Crisis articles delivered to your inbox daily
I write this not to seek pity or draw attention to myself. Rather, I write this as a vignette to demonstrate what the American taxpayer is funding— and what American servicemen and women are faced with simply by putting on the uniform. I write this, ultimately, in an attempt to defend life against an enemy that is indeed becoming increasingly more domestic.
The first strike against the DoD came within the context of the “Covid regime.” The United States military ordered all service members to subject themselves to an experimental medical treatment that they called a “vaccine,” an illegal order in and of itself since the shot was authorized “under emergency use authorization” only.
Combine the illegality of this order with the newness of the treatment and that would be enough for many to say “no”—if only that were a possibility. Of course, the development and testing of the shots had a remote link to abortion as well, as part of a greater pharmaceutical industry that fuels itself by preying on the lives of the voiceless and most innocent.
Fortunately, there was an administrative action that served as a legitimate recourse for servicemembers who opposed the shot for religious reasons: a religious accommodation request. As a devout Catholic who prizes my allegiance and love for Christ above all else in my life, I had qualms about the mandated nature of the shot due to its interference with exercising personal conscience—along with concerns about the shot’s lack of credible efficacy.
More than that, though, was the fact that all three major shots in circulation (from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson) had utilized cell lines from aborted fetal tissue in their production and testing in one way or another. How could I, in good conscience, take an untested, unproven, mandated, abortion-tainted pseudo-medical treatment? Thousands of other servicemembers were in the same boat.
I submitted my accommodation after going through a rigorous process, only to get a rejection nearly five months later. I appealed that denial, was subsequently denied again, and given the option to take the shot, apply to separate, or resist the (illegal) order and face administrative action.
I chose to separate, only to find out a few months after that I would not be authorized to do so. Around the same time, an injunction prohibiting separation for those who had submitted accommodations came down, thanks be to God, and at long last the mandate was officially dropped just a few weeks ago. End of story on the DoD/abortion-machine collaboration, right?
If only—and Lord have mercy. As I sit here writing this from my desk, on duty on an active Air Force installation, I am more disgruntled with the DoD/abortion-machine collaboration than ever before, and my heart is broken. According to the Military Times, the DoD recently released three new policies “aimed at closing some of the gaps that the overturn of Roe v. Wade opened up in service members’ ability to access reproductive health care.”
To put it more plainly, the DoD will fund transportation, lodging, and meal costs incurred for troops to go out of state to get an abortion, also affording them up to three weeks of nonchargeable leave. (As an insight, one generally has to use chargeable leave to miss a Friday of work for a funeral for a grandparent or cousin or family member that is not immediate.)
Military personnel must obtain their commander’s approval for this travel, “but the policy is written to urge approval authorities to grant requests without interference.” What would a well-meaning Catholic, or anyone opposed to abortion, do as a commander, should he or she find themselves in such a position of “approve or else?”
It is very clear with such language that the military is outrightly giving its stamp of approval for abortion and will stop at almost nothing to ensure its proliferation under the guise of “reproductive healthcare.” As a member of the United States military with another two years of a service commitment that must be fulfilled, I am in a spot of deep internal conflict. And those of higher ranks with more troops under their command and more time sacrificed in service will be faced with even more difficult decisions when requests come across their desks. Lord help them.
I can only imagine that so many other Catholics, Christians, and persons of goodwill who are diametrically opposed to the diabolical enterprise of child-slaughter and sacrifice are in the same position. And the American taxpayer is the primary funder of the DoD, who has so proudly expressed their commitment to stop at nothing to ensure that abortion can occur. Suzy Q. Taxpayer has a need to know. And each and every person, especially those in service and those who love and support them, has a need to resist.
I know that I am not the only one who joined the United States Air Force to be a part of defending this great nation, to be a part of something bigger than just me, and to promote what were once held as American values: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—of course, the last two are not possible unless life is first protected and preserved.
I did not join the Air Force with the intention of throwing away my deepest-held convictions about the sanctity of life beginning at conception or to be a part of an organization that promotes abortion on demand. And when “rendering to Caesar” is in conflict with “giving to God what is God’s,” I will bow to the King of the Universe alone.
As Ronald Reagan once said, “If we ever forget we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” It is clear that we are on a path to going under when the most vulnerable are open targets to be “terminated,” in active collaboration by an alleged department of “defense.” We must not give up or lose hope, for we know that the Resurrection is a fact that changes reality. And life will always triumph over death. But we must fight. So help us God.
*Views expressed are personal and do not reflect those of the United States Air Force or the United States Department of Defense.