Working in a congressional office has given me the ability to learn about widespread issues permeating across industries, socioeconomic classes, and geographically. It has been eye opening to say the least but I have learned so much more then I could have imagined! While a lot of things have been expected recently something was brought to my attention no one seems to want to talk about. Americans stationed abroad getting vaccinations.
The US has really done a fantastic job with vaccinations especially when you compare our success rate to the rest of the world. It has been something I have been really proud of our country to see happen but we are far from perfect. Last week I had a lady call in from our district to ask our office about what is going on with vaccinating our troops stationed in Europe.
She continued to tell me how poor the vaccination rolls out has been at military bases how few vaccines there are. The roll out is actually so poor that military members families are flying home to get the vaccine in the US when there number is called. The base this lady’s son-in-law worked at was a secure facility meaning it does not have a ton of people but deals with high level operations.
Out of the 300 people at the base only two had been able to get vaccinated. What was worse was when she told me the stats about other much larger military bases having a 5-10% vaccination rate. It was not caused due to people not wanting the vaccine rather the US was not sending vaccines to these countries for the troops.
To say I was blown away would be an understatement. When I dug into the data after getting off the phone with her letting her know I would look into it what she said was true. In some aspects even she gave the military a break. Some bases have only a handful of vaccinated people and they are allowing civilian contractors onto the bases who are not vaccinated raising the possibility of accidental infection and outbreaks.
This is a pretty worrying trend and the more I looked into it the madder I got. Reporters and others have reached out trying to understand what is going on and to be honest everyone is blaming everyone else. It appears to me that these countries want these dosages and are against the US sending them into their country for US troops. They want them for their people if they are sent and so the US has been trying to hash out deals to make this happen.
People will say though we’ll just pull the troops out however many of these countries with these large bases rely on the troops not only for protection but for economic reasons. A troop withdrawal would be terrible for the cities and areas surrounding the bases. Also Russian aggression has picked up again in Ukraine and a pullback would be seen as weakness.
I am really hoping I see or hear about some developments soon for this. American troops are willing to die for this country and it is an embarrassment that we are not taking better care of them. That we do not send them to the front of a line to get a vaccine if they so chose to get it!