A U.S. Army pilot who reluctantly received a COVID-19 vaccination has been reprimanded and denied promotion — and could still face discharge and the loss of his wings — after questioning the vaccine and filing complaints about allegedly biased investigations of him, according to his wife and her attorney.
Jessica Hill-Budge, the wife of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brandon Budge in the 7th Infantry Division’s 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, told Just the News that her husband is likely to lose his nearly 20-year military career due to improperly conducted official investigations of his case.
While Budge never said he wouldn’t get the COVID vaccine, he was initially hesitant to receive it, asking questions about the lawfulness of the mandate, inquiring about religious accommodation requests, and hoping to wait until at least 90 days had passed since he contracted the virus before getting the shot, said Hill-Budge’s attorney, R. Davis Younts.
Budge came down with COVID in March 2021 and was supposed to deploy to South Korea that September. However, if he wasn’t vaccinated, he was told, he would have to quarantine for two weeks. His wife was pregnant at the time with their seventh child, so he wanted to avoid quarantining lest he miss the birth of their son.
Towards the end of summer 2021, Budge went to a clinic for another matter, but the medic, thinking she was helping him, falsified his record without his knowledge to show that he received the COVID vaccine, Younts said. Budge got the shot soon after and learned that his records showed he had already received it.
He inquired about the inaccurate record and was told that the medic was under investigation, but he himself wasn’t. It turned out he actually was under investigation, but investigators didn’t inform him or read him his rights when they interviewed […]
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