Faith Crocker believes in service. The daughter of a Baptist pastor, she grew up with a deep understanding of the importance of selfless sacrifice for others. When the opportunity came to serve her country in the Air Force Reserves, she jumped at the chance and entered military training. This opportunity would take her from the small town of Atlanta, Texas, to the flight line at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana. Faith progressed through the ranks and served her unit and her country with distinction. In her free time, she studied for a religion degree from Liberty University online and served her church and community.
But when the Biden Administration mandated in 2021 that all servicemembers take the COVID-19 vaccine or face involuntary discharge, Faith found herself deeply conflicted. For Faith, the values of patriotic service are intertwined with her religious faith. After careful prayer and consideration, Faith developed a strongly held religious belief that she must not take the vaccine.
So, Faith went through the process the military had established for those seeking religious accommodations. With the support of her unit chaplain, she explained her religious concerns and requested support for them. The Biden Administration rejected her request with a perfunctory form letter. She appealed this rejection, explaining her beliefs and their importance to her:
“Although I have only been in the Air force just short of three years, I plan on continuing my career here for the rest of my life and eventually becoming an officer. I love my job and making a difference whether it is big or small. My coworkers and supervisors are the best work family I can ask for. They are continually supporting me and teaching me new things for me to become a better maintainer, airman, leader, and woman. I am fully aware that I am seen as just an airman who the Air Force is comfortable with losing. My dedication and work ethic is not replaceable. I abide by the rules and have never had any disciplinary issues. I also believe it is right to stand up for what I believe in. That being said, I will not allow anyone to disregard my religion. I am asking for assistance in defending the Constitution that I swore to defend when I raised my right hand.”
The Biden Administration’s military leadership again rejected Faith’s request without any individualized analysis of her case. Such an analysis would have shown that COVID-19 was no longer a significant problem at Barksdale Air Force Base and that Faith served a critical national security role in assisting the bomber squadron during a time of global challenge.
Instead, the military leadership informed Faith that she had five days to take the vaccine or face disciplinary action and involuntary administrative separation. This would amount to the loss of her career, her educational opportunities, and her dream.
In despair, Faith contacted the Pelican Center for Justice, which agreed to take on her case to fight government overreach and defend Faith’s religious liberty. The case is currently before the Honorable Maurice Hicks in the Western District of Louisiana. Faith is one of many Americans standing up and fighting against government overreach, and the Pelican Center for Justice is proud to stand with her in her fight.