While driving near Dalton, I saw a Marine Corps recruiting billboard which showed the iconic flag-raising on Iwo Jima and the caption, “For our Nation, for us all.” It made me think of the COVID vaccination program. Part of the Marine Officer leadership training is that you would never ask any troops to do anything you would not do. Both the past President of the United States and the current President have had COVID vaccinations. It makes no sense why some individuals choose not to get a shot, especially when both leaders got vaccinated. If Georgia is such a great place to recruit Marines, why is it near the bottom of nearly all states in COVID vaccinations? Do they know more science in Vermont than we do? With the Marietta Rotary Club, we vaccinated 500 kids against polio, in the straw hut villages south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and in India we did 700 kids. In Uganda, I saw the effects of polio. One lady’s legs were so crippled, her toes got caught in the wheelchair spokes and she could not use the wheelchair we gave her.
Before going, I went to the Cobb and Douglas Health Center and got every vaccination they would give me, including another polio shot, cholera, yellow fever, and malaria prophylaxis. I was glad to get it. We crossed the Nile, home of West Nile virus. We saw cases of cholera. In Gulu, Uganda, I saw the entire hospital leadership buried in the yard, all died from Ebola. In Honduras, I saw a woman who threw up worms. I saw a baby with microencephalies — a head the size of a tennis ball on a normal body, and that has been attributed to the zika virus. I have seen some of the worst places on earth. We in America live in a sanctuary on earth, but I am not sure everyone knows that. With respect to the free choice of my fellow Americans, I am not suggesting you join the Marines. But may I suggest you consider getting a COVID vaccine, “For our Nation. For Us All.”
Daniel F. Kirk