Trouble going to Okinawa - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-20-2012, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

 

I came here through google search, and was hoping someone was still around who could help me.  I've read the old threads about going to Japan with the Navy, but those are all several years old.

 

We are trying to get clearance to go to Okinawa with my husband (Marine Corps), but they said we HAVE to vaccinate the children or be denied.  I do know there are people there that don't vaccinate, but we were told today that they are tightening up on that and do it on a case by base basis?  And then we were told that no one in 11 years has done it? 

 

Does anyone know how to deal with this?  What channels do we go through? 

 

Any advice greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:06 AM
 
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I know this is old but couldnt' help responding.

 

11 years? That's magical, because we did it two years ago. We're Marine Corp and were told at every visit that we would be declined but in the end Okinawa said it was fine and we were approved. I think it was just a lot of fearmongering going on. They even brought in the immunization nurse to try and terrify me.

 

Who did you talk to? Was it just the initial visit to pick up paperwork or the screening by the doctor? Unless it was the official screener decision then they're just talking out of their booties.

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:53 AM
 
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Maybe the recent changes in the last year in Japan have made it so that they are requiring vaccinations now.  You can be mad all you want about it but uh... while the Military doesn't own anyone they do pay for you and your family while there.  Just um... throwing that out there.

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:55 PM
 
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Maybe the recent changes in the last year in Japan have made it so that they are requiring vaccinations now.  You can be mad all you want about it but uh... while the Military doesn't own anyone they do pay for you and your family while there.  Just um... throwing that out there.

Your opinion on whether the military should be able to demand that family be vaccinated has no bearing on whether they actually can demand it. angelisagemini's experience with the same branch of military, going to the same place, is a very good indication of what the OP will experience if she continues to refuse.

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:44 PM
 
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Hey ma2two... I was in the military.  SHOCK!  And their policies change depending on the atmosphere.  Are you not paying attention the what has happened as of late? 

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.naturalnews.com/032184_vaccine_exemptions_Navy.html

 

After more searching that day, I found the above article.  I talked to Alan Phillips, the lawyer, and he directed me to Cmdr Maida in D.C.  Apparently, the bummed regs do need revised, but it hasn't happened as yet.  It is unconsititutional to require civilians to be vaccinated, and even more so because we are not required to be vaxed to BE in Japan, but simply to be transferred.  The host country has no vaccination requirements. 

 

So, there is a waiver process evolving, even though the regs say it doesn't exist.  It involves submitting a packet to your receiving chain of command for approval, and then it is routed through bummed to the surgeon general.  There are several packets ahead of ours that have already been approved.  Also, the thrust of the packet is NOT claiming an exemption but the fact that the requirement is unconstitutional.

 

And, it was the official screener.  We were officially denied because of vax status, and we took it all the way up to the hospital commander here.

 

Anyway, I hope this information helps someone else in the same position.

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and actually the servicemember themselves do have a right to religous exemption from vaccination.  It's commonly accepted that they don't, but that just isn't true.

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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http://www.naturalnews.com/032184_vaccine_exemptions_Navy.html

 

After more searching that day, I found the above article.  I talked to Alan Phillips, the lawyer, and he directed me to Cmdr Maida in D.C.  Apparently, the bummed regs do need revised, but it hasn't happened as yet.  It is unconsititutional to require civilians to be vaccinated, and even more so because we are not required to be vaxed to BE in Japan, but simply to be transferred.  The host country has no vaccination requirements. 

 

So, there is a waiver process evolving, even though the regs say it doesn't exist.  It involves submitting a packet to your receiving chain of command for approval, and then it is routed through bummed to the surgeon general.  There are several packets ahead of ours that have already been approved.  Also, the thrust of the packet is NOT claiming an exemption but the fact that the requirement is unconstitutional.

 

And, it was the official screener.  We were officially denied because of vax status, and we took it all the way up to the hospital commander here.

 

Anyway, I hope this information helps someone else in the same position.

The military is not requiring civilians to be vaccinated. Going to Okinawa is optional and not a requirement, and the Marines do not force the family to go along. If the family does not meet medical clearance, for whatever reason, then the service member can go to Okinawa and the family can stay home.

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:19 AM
 
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The military is not requiring civilians to be vaccinated. Going to Okinawa is optional and not a requirement, and the Marines do not force the family to go along. If the family does not meet medical clearance, for whatever reason, then the service member can go to Okinawa and the family can stay home.

 

 

Right but if they want to go they need to meet medical requirements.  It's a set of rules in place that's not forcing anyone to do anything.  You can do it and go or you can not do it and stay here.  If there are people who are unvaccinated in Japan (military family)  I really doubt it was a breeze to get there.  Those requirements are there for a reason. 

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Old 06-16-2012, 11:37 AM
 
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HeyHeyMonkey, there seems to be a debate on this thread whether you have a right to go to Okinawa. Please update us when it's all figured out, and then we'll know!

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Old 06-16-2012, 12:13 PM
 
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No it's not about a right to go.  It's about how they handle things in the military culture.  If they let her go that's cool but if they don't I understand why.

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Old 06-16-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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It seems like she thinks she has a right to go, from my understanding of her post. And that if they do not allow her family to go because of their vaccination status, then the military is forcing civilians to be immunized, which is illegal. That isn't the case at all. If they choose to go to Okinawa, then they choose to follow the rules.

 

With the current climate in Okinawa (my husband is military, we couldn't go to Okinawa, apparently we will be going to Guam later), I would not be surprised if they are not allowing families to go if they do not have the proper medical clearance. They are withdrawing troops from Oki and moving the majority to Guam and other bases in the Pacific. The government of Okinawa has wanted the troops out for a long time, and it appears that the US and Japan have reached a deal in that regard. I can imagine that right now the US is jumping through hoops not to piss them off at the moment.
 

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:36 PM
 
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It seems like she thinks she has a right to go, from my understanding of her post. And that if they do not allow her family to go because of their vaccination status, then the military is forcing civilians to be immunized, which is illegal. That isn't the case at all. If they choose to go to Okinawa, then they choose to follow the rules.

 

With the current climate in Okinawa (my husband is military, we couldn't go to Okinawa, apparently we will be going to Guam later), I would not be surprised if they are not allowing families to go if they do not have the proper medical clearance. They are withdrawing troops from Oki and moving the majority to Guam and other bases in the Pacific. The government of Okinawa has wanted the troops out for a long time, and it appears that the US and Japan have reached a deal in that regard. I can imagine that right now the US is jumping through hoops not to piss them off at the moment.
 

 

 

Agreed,  I don't know why you would go right now. 

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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The government of Okinawa has wanted the troops out for a long time, and it appears that the US and Japan have reached a deal in that regard. I can imagine that right now the US is jumping through hoops not to piss them off at the moment.

The vaccine requirements, if any, are U.S. military requirements, not Japan's. Okinawa is not going to be "pissed off" if HeyHeyMonkey's kids don't get vaccinated. They won't even know.

 

I'm looking forward to finding out what happens. I hope you won't have to go through too much more trouble with this, HeyHeyMonkey.

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Old 06-16-2012, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm surprised this turned into such a debate.  I thought mothering was more about supporting not vaccinating?  I'm gathering it isn't from the other threads I've been reading.

 

The issue is that the regs aren't clear.  If they were clear about having to vaccinate, he simply would not have volunteered.  But they aren't.  It states that we must have all the vaccinations required of the other country.  They don't have any.  When pressed, the screeners (and staff) insisted that it was the CDCs requirements.  When I showed them the CDCs chart that clearly says that the vaccines aren't required, just recommended, they stammered and then said, "Well, uh, that's what you have to do.  The recommended ones." 

 

I know people over there right now who agreed to catch up their kids so that they would be cleared.  They did one or two shots per kid, got cleared, and stopped vaccinating.  I know of other people who went over without a hitch, and others, like us, who have hired a lawyer. 

 

One of the vaccinations on the list is for Japanese Encephalitis.  From my research a few months ago, the U.S. doesn't have any more of the pediatric vaccine.  The CDC says that we have three options: 1.) use a new experimental vaccine, 2.) use the adult vaccine off label, 3.) have them vaccinated in an Asian clinic if we can find one that happens to have some left.  The JEP is recommended by the CDC for travel to Asia.

 

The screeners don't care if we get that one, though.  I've not found anyone IRL who has gotten the JEP before going.  See the discrepancy?  And, the serious legal implications of actually following the regulations?  If they were to follow their own regs, we, civilians, would be required to vaccinate our children with an experimental drug, or use one off label in order to be cleared.  Getting one from an Asian clinic isn't possible because we obviously wouldn't be there to get one if we weren't cleared to go.

 

So, on one hand they are requiring some vaccinations, and on the other, over-looking them.  The regulations simply aren't clear enough to know what truly is required and what isn't.  And, based on our experiences, it comes down to who your screener happens to be, who is currently stationed at the Okinawa hospital, and how lucky you are that day.  The fact is that no one is following the regulations.

 

Also, the purpose of the screening is to determine if there are any medical needs that cannot be met by the receiving hospital.  Our family does not pose any risk to them.  We have no medical issues whatsoever, and prophalactic medical treatment cannot be required.  It IS forcing vaccination, and it IS illegal.  There are people using that specific legal argument, and winning.  The link in the first post is an excellent example.  When I was browsing the old threads, I found a post from the family referenced in that article.  She also recommended contacting Cmdr Maida for assistance.

 

Yes, many Marines are going to Guam, but the timeline is still not clear.   There are a lot of logisitics and expenses involved in such a huge move.  It doesn't matter to us, though.  My husband's unit is staying put.

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Old 06-17-2012, 03:08 PM
 
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The vaccine requirements, if any, are U.S. military requirements, not Japan's. Okinawa is not going to be "pissed off" if HeyHeyMonkey's kids don't get vaccinated. They won't even know.

 

I'm looking forward to finding out what happens. I hope you won't have to go through too much more trouble with this, HeyHeyMonkey.

 

Just because Japan doesn't have requirements for other travelers to the country, does not mean that they have not told the US military that their troops need to be held to a different standard.

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I'm surprised this turned into such a debate.  I thought mothering was more about supporting not vaccinating?  I'm gathering it isn't from the other threads I've been reading.

 

The issue is that the regs aren't clear.  If they were clear about having to vaccinate, he simply would not have volunteered.  But they aren't.  It states that we must have all the vaccinations required of the other country.  They don't have any.  When pressed, the screeners (and staff) insisted that it was the CDCs requirements.  When I showed them the CDCs chart that clearly says that the vaccines aren't required, just recommended, they stammered and then said, "Well, uh, that's what you have to do.  The recommended ones." 

 

I know people over there right now who agreed to catch up their kids so that they would be cleared.  They did one or two shots per kid, got cleared, and stopped vaccinating.  I know of other people who went over without a hitch, and others, like us, who have hired a lawyer. 

 

One of the vaccinations on the list is for Japanese Encephalitis.  From my research a few months ago, the U.S. doesn't have any more of the pediatric vaccine.  The CDC says that we have three options: 1.) use a new experimental vaccine, 2.) use the adult vaccine off label, 3.) have them vaccinated in an Asian clinic if we can find one that happens to have some left.  The JEP is recommended by the CDC for travel to Asia.

 

The screeners don't care if we get that one, though.  I've not found anyone IRL who has gotten the JEP before going.  See the discrepancy?  And, the serious legal implications of actually following the regulations?  If they were to follow their own regs, we, civilians, would be required to vaccinate our children with an experimental drug, or use one off label in order to be cleared.  Getting one from an Asian clinic isn't possible because we obviously wouldn't be there to get one if we weren't cleared to go.

 

So, on one hand they are requiring some vaccinations, and on the other, over-looking them.  The regulations simply aren't clear enough to know what truly is required and what isn't.  And, based on our experiences, it comes down to who your screener happens to be, who is currently stationed at the Okinawa hospital, and how lucky you are that day.  The fact is that no one is following the regulations.

 

Also, the purpose of the screening is to determine if there are any medical needs that cannot be met by the receiving hospital.  Our family does not pose any risk to them.  We have no medical issues whatsoever, and prophalactic medical treatment cannot be required.  It IS forcing vaccination, and it IS illegal.  There are people using that specific legal argument, and winning.  The link in the first post is an excellent example.  When I was browsing the old threads, I found a post from the family referenced in that article.  She also recommended contacting Cmdr Maida for assistance.

 

Yes, many Marines are going to Guam, but the timeline is still not clear.   There are a lot of logisitics and expenses involved in such a huge move.  It doesn't matter to us, though.  My husband's unit is staying put.

I'm guessing from the first bolded that you have not been a part of the military very long. Dh is close to retirement. If you think that any regs in the military are going to be clear or enforced by everyone equally at every base, you are going to be in for a very hard time.

 

To the second bolded, that is not the only purpose of the medical screening. It is also making sure you meet all of their requirements, not just that the hospital can accommodate you. If there is an agreement between Japan and the US that the troops going to Oki have certain things, then that will be that. Also, this is not about vaccination, but about following the military's rules. They are not forcing you and your children to be vaccinated. Going to Oki is your choice, and if you choose no to follow the rules, then you can choose to not go to Oki. The only person being "forced" to go is your dh, and that's only because he agreed to join the Marines. Why do you not see that? If you can get the exemption, then fine, but you might not, and that is not illegal or forcing vaccination. You can refuse and stay in the US. Who told you that people are winning lawsuits against the military? Your lawyer?

 

And also, there is a timeline for the move to Guam, it's just the higher ups aren't broadcasting it to all the troops.

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Old 06-17-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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And knowing how the military works and telling you about it here is does not go against MDC culture.  It's being real and letting your know what you're in for and what you can actually expect.  

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Old 06-18-2012, 05:18 AM
 
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I'm surprised this turned into such a debate.  I thought mothering was more about supporting not vaccinating?  I'm gathering it isn't from the other threads I've been reading.

 

 

 

I think this is a common misconception about Mothering, perhaps based on history: in fact the wikipedia website lists Mothering.com as having an anti-vax stance (I plan to edit that btw, so it may not say that for much longer). 

 

 

 

Quote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothering_(magazine):
The magazine covers alternative childbirth options, and advocates breastfeedingalternative educationhomeschoolingco-sleeping and opposition to vaccination. It takes a stance against circumcision[2] and endorses HIV/AIDS denialism and promotes anti-vaccination.

 

 

Actually the policy is this (from http://www.mothering.com/community/a/vaccination-forum-guidelines)

 

 

 

Quote:
"We embrace all parents, regardless of their vaccination choice. We uphold the Vaccinations forum as a place where they can come and discuss all aspects of all vaccinations, and find support in their desire to make an informed decision to not vaccinate, to vaccinate, to selectively vaccinate, or to delay vaccinations. We would like all members to understand that this forum is not an anti-vax forum but rather is a forum to discuss issues and concerns so that parents can make an informed decision. We are not, however, interested in hosting discussions advocating for mandatory vaccination."

 

If you want to get the anti-vax support only, there is an "I'm not Vaccinating" forum for that, and I assume you can ask the moderators of this forum to move your thread over if you like (or start again there), but the main board is not an anti-vax board. 


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:27 AM
 
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I'm surprised this turned into such a debate.  I thought mothering was more about supporting not vaccinating?  I'm gathering it isn't from the other threads I've been reading.

 

 

You're right - unfortunately MDC is no longer as much a sanctuary as it used to be with respect to vaxes


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Old 06-20-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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You're right - unfortunately MDC is no longer as much a sanctuary as it used to be with respect to vaxes

If someone wants a "sanctuary" they should post in the "I'm not vaccinating" forum, not the general forum. That's why it's there.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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If someone wants a "sanctuary" they should post in the "I'm not vaccinating" forum, not the general forum. That's why it's there.


It may not be clear when a poster is not regular here. 

 

It might matter because a poster might need a place to discuss non-vaxing options given it's very difficult to have that discussion in real life or in other online boards.


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Old 06-20-2012, 09:16 AM
 
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It may not be clear when a poster is not regular here. 

It might matter because a poster might need a place to discuss non-vaxing options given it's very difficult to have that discussion in real life or in other online boards.

That may well be true, but it's certainly not fair to expect everyone to bite their tongue because a new poster has not bothered to fully evaluate board culture. If she wanted support only, there was an appropriate place to look for it. She instead posted in the general forum, and I don't think it's fair to make comments about people being unsupportive, when all they did was answer questions in a very appropriate and helpful manner. Two members of the military gave their experiences and opinions. If the op doesn't like what they have to say, she can repost in the other forum.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:16 AM
 
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Dude giving someone the true facts of how the military works and why is not being unsupportive.  It's reality.  Sorry next time I'll just say buck the system and give it to them... Cause that would be such good advice...

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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Dude giving someone the true facts of how the military works and why is not being unsupportive.  It's reality.  Sorry next time I'll just say buck the system and give it to them... Cause that would be such good advice...


Dude - wasn't thinking about your response.


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Old 06-20-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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That may well be true, but it's certainly not fair to expect everyone to bite their tongue because a new poster has not bothered to fully evaluate board culture. If she wanted support only, there was an appropriate place to look for it. She instead posted in the general forum, and I don't think it's fair to make comments about people being unsupportive, when all they did was answer questions in a very appropriate and helpful manner. Two members of the military gave their experiences and opinions. If the op doesn't like what they have to say, she can repost in the other forum.


It's also not fair to expect everyone to bite their tongue and not have an opinion about this board - or not to commiserate with a new poster.


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Old 06-20-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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It wasn't just for the OP.  The question was about going overseas on the Military's dime and expecting the rules to change for you.  Some of us veterans or veteran wives chimed in to explain the reality of the situation.  That is not being unsupportive at all.  That's speaking the truth as people who have been involved in that system and understanding the why's of it all.  While I'm sure non vaxxed people have been allowed to travel (family members only)  I really don't think it's the norm especially after what happened in Japan recently.  Even if Japan doesn't care the Military doesn't make a habit of taking what they would consider extra risks when it comes to the families of military members.  Also I do know of a few military member who wouldn't vax and they were not allowed to travel oconus.  EVER.  They were stuck here in the states and coded. 

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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It's also not fair to expect everyone to bite their tongue and not have an opinion about this board.

You're completely welcome to your opinion.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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It wasn't just for the OP.  The question was about going overseas on the Military's dime and expecting the rules to change for you.  Some of us veterans or veteran wives chimed in to explain the reality of the situation.  That is not being unsupportive at all.  That's speaking the truth as people who have been involved in that system and understanding the why's of it all.  While I'm sure non vaxxed people have been allowed to travel (family members only)  I really don't think it's the norm especially after what happened in Japan recently.  Even if Japan doesn't care the Military doesn't make a habit of taking what they would consider extra risks when it comes to the families of military members.  Also I do know of a few military member who wouldn't vax and they were not allowed to travel oconus.  EVER.  They were stuck here in the states and coded. 

 

Oh, I know - it's not about your response on vax and the military.

 

The original poster mentioned the board would be more about non-vax support, read other threads, got a different impression and was surprised.  The original poster was thinking about other threads they read too - not just this one.  I can see why and happen to agree.


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Old 06-20-2012, 10:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WildKingdom View Post


You're completely welcome to your opinion.


Huh?  As opposed to ... ? OK, there's probably a misunderstanding somewhere.  But I'm good with everything, hope you're too.


Pro rights (vaxes).
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:45 AM
 
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Location: La vida loca
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Originally Posted by HeyHeyMonkey View Post

I'm surprised this turned into such a debate.  I thought mothering was more about supporting not vaccinating? 
If you'd like, I can move this thread to the I'm Not Vaccinating subforum, which isn't as "debate-y" and has different guidelines to maybe get you different responses?

Mi vida loca: full-time WOHM, frugalista, foodie wannabe, 10+ years of TCOYF 

 

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