The U.S. Air Force is mandating participants in its Wounded Warrior program events be vaccinated, according to Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who demanded Friday the service drop that requirement.

“Unfortunately, per written correspondence with the Department of the Air Force, Air Force Personnel Center leadership required all attendees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination at previous Wounded Warrior event. This policy unnecessarily barred many of these brave heroes, their family members, and caregivers from participating in the very program created to support them,” the Texas congressman wrote in a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.


Roy sent the letter to Kendall on Friday morning, requesting that he “immediately eliminate” any COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all future Air Force Wounded Warrior program events.

He reminded the Air Force secretary that the Wounded Warrior program is a congressionally mandated and federally funded organization created to care for wounded or injured Airmen, Guardians, and their families on their journey to return to active-duty status or transition into civilian life.

The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program works together with the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program, Airman & Family Readiness Centers and the Air Force Medical Service to provide concentrated non-medical care and support for combat wounded, ill and injured Airmen (and their families) as they recover and transition back to duty or into civilian life.

The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program works with the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program, Airman & Family Readiness Centers and the Air Force Medical Service to provide concentrated non-medical care and support for combat wounded, ill and injured Airmen (and their families) as they recover and transition back to duty or into civilian life.

“We request that all future Air Force Wounded Warrior program events be open to all, regardless of vaccination status — especially given the fact that the COVID-19 vaccine does not prevent transmission of the virus,” Roy wrote.

“Our service members and their families make sacrifices each day in service to our country. Many sustain lifelong physical injuries and invisible wounds to safeguard the freedom that we enjoy today. The least we can do is ensure our heroes are welcomed into these programs and not denied access based on a personal medical decision,” Roy added.

“Frankly, to do otherwise would undermine the freedom that generations of service members have fought and died to defend,” he wrote.

The letter is also signed by 17 other House Republicans, including Reps. Brian Mast, Thomas Massie, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Mary E. Miller, Randy Weber, John Moolenaar, Lauren Boebert, Matthew Rosendale, Bob Good, Ralph Norman, Andy Biggs, Barry Moore, Scott Perry, Mo Brooks, Jody Hice, and Rodney Davis.

Roy also introduced legislation earlier this year that would reinstate the more than 1,500 service members who were discharged over the Biden administration’s mandate for all service members to be vaccinated.

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