June 9, 2022 Updated 3:54 P.M. ET
FORT WALTON BEACH (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis said the revived Florida State Guard will act as a “landing spot” for people kicked out of the military for refusing to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
“We’re not going to have those types of mandates,” DeSantis said. “We want people to be able to serve.”
Military Times reports 3,400 troops have been involuntarily separated from service for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“They say they have to kick people out to maintain good order and discipline,” he said. “You are harming good order and discipline by not standing behind people that have fought for this country.”
DeSantis encouraged people to apply for the Florida State Guard, which is a civilian force that will help the state in times of disaster. The Governor announced $10 million to have 400 recruits within the Florida State Guard.
“We work hard in Florida to lift people up, to stand by people to make sure they have opportunities to participate in society,” he explained.
The DeSantis administration has stood firmly against vaccine mandates. In 2021, the Governor signed legislation to ban vaccine passports.
DeSantis also pressured Special Olympics International to drop its vaccine mandate for athletes competing in Orlando this June.
Special Olympics International originally told athletes they could not compete in Orlando if they did not receive the COVID vaccine. However, DeSantis said this requirement violated Florida law.
“We do not think it’s fair or just to be marginalizing some of these athletes based on a decision that has no bearing on their ability to compete with honor and integrity,” DeSantis said.
The administration penalized the group with a $27.5 million fine and the group dropped the vaccine mandate.
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