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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Former USAF JAG Disabled by Anthrax Vaccine to Appear on The Montel Williams Show

(This TV edisode has been postponed and will not be shown on 20 April as previously scheduled. Please consult the link below to determine when it will air.)

Kelli Donley is a former USAF JAG attorney who was disabled by the anthrax vaccine. Early this past March, Kelli flew to NY to appear on The Montel Williams Show, along with other veterans who believe their health problems were caused by the anthrax vaccine. Kelli has been diagnosed with Sporadic Spinocerebellar Ataxia. She is the first guest on the show that will air on Friday, 20 April 2007, entitled "The Hidden Dangers Facing Our Troops."

To find out what time The Montel Williams Show is broadcast where you live, please check your state here:

Kelli's hometown is Beloit, KS. She graduated from Fort Hays State University with a BA in Political Science in 1993, Oklahoma State University with a MA in Political Science in 1995 and Washburn University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1998. She is now medically retired from the Air Force under 100% disability. She lives in Oklahoma City.

Blog Content By: Kelli Donley

By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, PC

Blog postscript: Attorney Frank Spinner and I (attorney Richard Stevens) are former active duty military lawyers (JAG). Our perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon our experience as military defense lawyers and as civilian criminal defense lawyers practicing exclusively in the area of military law. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens & The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation.


Anonymous said...

I am an Officer currently stationed in Kuwait in support of OIF and am being ordered to have my Anthrax vaccination series started by 13 April or face UCMJ action. I am down to my last 2 days of freedom before the interior of my body is violated with a foreign substance of which I do not consent to.

I hold my personal values in a reasoned order; God, Family, Duty, Honor, Country. I thought my country did the same thing. I thought I still had rights as an American Citizen first, then a citizen-soldier, but I guess I gave up the right to choose what gets injected into my body when I chose to serve in the National Guard. One would think that serving under the flag of this great nation that they could have some say so about a foreign substance being placed in their bloodstream. When I was called up to deploy the current policy was Anthrax Immunizations were voluntary.

I have served the Active Duty and National Guard honorably for over 25 years and am now deployed to support my country. I have glowing efficiency reports and am in the process of being promoted. The military has spent well beyond a million dollars to train me over the years. Now, if I refuse to allow a foreign substance of which I do not approve of, which I have no control over once it gets inside my body, I am being threatened with my retirement, possible discharge under dishonorable conditions, loss of pay, and even confinement. Twenty-five years of faithful service to be erased because no other option is allowed for the soldier. TAKE THE INJECTION OR TAKE THE UCMJ PUNISHMENT, MAKE YOUR CHOICE! Where has this great country gone to?

I fully agree that the military has the right to put my body in harms way whether it be the DMZ or downtown Baghdad. I have flown with my flight crew in Iraq. I am trained to perform battle with my mind and the outside of my body. On the other hand, my internal body is not trained to fight or devour every foreign substance that could be injected into it. I guess the DOD has carte blanche to inject any substance into my body as long as someone in the chain of command thinks it is okay, as long as someone perceives a possible threat.

This smacks of a regime that was active in the 1930's and 1940's that I dare to utter. Where has America gone to and can anybody stop this?

Anonymous said...


Back about five years ago while in the Air National Guard, I was given three of the six Anthrax boosters. The first shot caused severe localized pain. I ignored it and drove on. Within 24 hours though, I noticed ringing in my ears. My family has zero history of hearing loss or problems, and I had no experience with what ringing in my ears meant. At the time I did not recognize or connect the shot with the hearing loss. I did, however, recognize the ringing within a day's time of receiving the shot. It was definitely connected to it, but I did not know what “Tinnitus” was at that time. I also did not realize hearing loss was occurring.

The second shot caused similar severe local pain in my arm. The pain, as before, lasted for days. My arm swelled and was discolored, but it was nothing alarming enough to be concerned about at the time. Again, I noticed the ringing in my ears, and it was far stronger that time around. I began to ask questions at my unit and to research the issue on the web. The local pain and swelling went away as before, and the ringing was something I simply got used to over time. By then, however, I had begun to realize my hearing was messed up. I could not hear as well as before, and people around me started to point it out too.

The third shot caused me to break out in subcutaneous black spider veins in starburst patterns all around my thighs, groin, and torso. The lesions never broke the skin. They did not itch, and they were not painful. All they did is scare the hell out of me. However, they formed on my body within 24 hours of receiving the shot. I literally fell asleep that night without them and woke up with them the next morning.

My hearing has been tested twice by civilian doctors since the ringing started. Both doctors suggested the damage was "chemical" before I ever mentioned my suspicions about a connection with the Anthrax shots or that I had taken the vaccine. The ringing in my ears these days is insanely loud, but I try to ignore it. I have, as the doctors called it, "Key note hearing loss." Half the human range for me is destroyed. Certain sounds from human speech drop off to next to no volume for me. K's, S's, F's and Th's are barely heard. As I talk to people and listen, my mind simply fills in the gaps as best as possible. If someone is saying a word I cannot understand, I ask them to restate it in another way. I am now a candidate for hearing aids.

In addition to the hearing issues, there’s one other possibly related symptom from the shots. Since I received the Anthrax vaccine, I get lumps in my armpits all the time. They are painful and last for days and sometimes a week or more. They never break the skin, and they are not a boil or pimple of any sort. I get them in both arm pits, and they randomly occur. I've never been able to connect them to any diet or other health issue. As I write this comment, I have one such lump in my right arm pit. They've always gone away on their own. I would be curious to know if other Anthrax shot receivers have had such a symptom. I would also like to know how common hearing loss like mine is for those who have received the Anthrax shots.

I want to stay in the military and fulfill my service. I look forward to deploying and to contributing to our important mission in the Middle East . Dying from an enemy bullet in combat is a risk I am willing to take to support and defend the ideals of my country, but dying slowly from medical issues related to shots my country forced me to take is entirely different. Knowing the stuff in the shots causes problems for my immune system means that taking any more of the vaccine into my system would be insanity. Are there any other military members who have experienced the same problems and concerns I have?

Anonymous said...

As an update to my case, yesterday I was at Walter Reed hospital. My purpose for being there was to begin the process of a medical discharge to avoid the confrontation over Anthrax shots entirely. My hearing already disqualifies me from service, so my hope is to avoid the chance of jail time entirely. My day began waiting for five hours for an appointment with a walk-in doctor. She had no idea how to start a medical discharge or how to handle the Anthrax complaint. I was sent to the Vaccine Medical Center after she documented my symptoms in the system.

Then I headed over to the Vaccine Medical Center, and they took information from me to complete a VAERs (Vaccination Adverse Effects Report). Parts of that information gathering process frustrated me however. For example, the person taking my information continually insisted there was no clear link between my hearing loss and the Anthrax. In fact, one of the questions asked on the form was, "Has the patient recovered from the adverse effects?"

The person looked up at me and said, "What would you like to put here?" I laughed at her as if she was joking. Sadly she wasn't. My smile went to a disgusted look, and I said, "My hearing is destroyed, and it will never return" ... "What do you think?" Her response disappointed me even more, and it tells me my battle is not going to be an easy one. She said, "There's no way to be sure, so I'm going to put down 'unknown' instead of yes or no.”

The military will always be able to deny it apparently. As long as they deny it, there's no responsibility after all. I'm just a bad soldier trying to rock the boat to them apparently. They don't care about my hearing at all. My health is of no concern. All they want are happy vaccine takers who blindly trust them to be safe.

My case is without doubt however. I have a military physical from October of 2002. It shows zero hearing loss. Within a year from that period and having had Anthrax shots, with one documented adverse effect, my hearing was destroyed. It is a classic chemical damage signature too according to two separate civilian doctors.

Now, the military is going to put me through their own tests. They want to test my hearing because two civilian sets of results are not good enough. They also want a neurologist to check me out. Maybe they think I'm faking it? Maybe I should see a shrink while they’re at it. If they “prove” I’m nuts, they can easily disregard me case! I'm beyond frustrated now.

All I want to do is bow out and admit defeat. The military wins. I've lost. Not only have I lost my hearing, but I've also lost all respect for my leaders.

Attorney Richard Stevens said...

For those who need assistance with this issue, there is a network of knowledgable, devoted individuals who stand ready to help. Just let us know.

Richard Stevens

Anonymous said...

My fellow servicemen/women:

What you are experiencing with the anthrax vaccine is not isolated. There have been thousands of individuals since the first Gulf War with similar maladies. In fact, there is a National Vaccine Health Center here at Walter Reed that was designed to study the effects of the anthrax vaccine. Yes, this is human experimentation without informed consent. It appears that varying levels of MF59 (squalene) were placed in certain lots of the anthrax vaccine to enhance immunity by "exciting" the bodies own innate immune system. If you think that the squalene argument is a "myth" as DOD has stated on it's AVIP website then google MF59, squalene or the innate immune system.
Most people can tolerate MF59 but there are some whose immune system hyper-reacts and it turns on itself.
It truly sickens me that this cover-up continues in one of the greatest countries in the world and senior officers and Washington lawmakers do not have the integrity to stand up.
I know that those faced with vaccination struggle with it. All I can say is that current policy dictates that if you refuse they will kill your career and income (90-110%) chance of that.
If you take the vaccine you may have anywhere from a 20-30% chance of illness. It is crazy, convicts, illegal immigrants and some welfare recipients-drug dealers have more rights then those who defend our country.
Write your representatives!

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Anonymous said...

Why are the confirmed reactions to the anthrax vaccine IDENTICAL to the illnesses of veterans from the first Gulf War?
Why has the federal government spent close to 1 billion dollars (of the taxpayers money) investigating sand fleas--incecticide---stress etc. as the causative factors of Gulf War Ilness (GWI)? The illnesses are IDENTICAL (anthrax and GWI). And yet, the anthrax vaccine is mandatory again and we are told it is perfectly safe.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

To the military Officer in Kuwait.

I, too, am in similar circumstances in Kuwait, with a slight twist. I am an Officer with 27 years with both Active and reserve time. But I am due to redeploy soon and based on the FRAGO that came out our unit was to be exempt from the order due to our redeployment time frame. Our command chose to implement the order early and not enact the exemption. I have refused to take the shot, therefore disobeying a direct order and have received my report chit. I have talked to the JAG officer but as I am sure you are aware am facing at best a NJP and forced retirement. Although I am sickened by this whole process, I stand by my decision and my rights, these same rights that I have given up my time, civilian jobs and family to protect. My thoughts are with you during this difficult decision time, as I told many of my peers and subordinates who were in a quandary over the forced vaccinations: "Each person must make the decision for themselves, based on the risk of the shot verse the repercussions and what it may do to your career and personal life". It is not an easy decision especially for those of us who have served as long as you and I have with pride and dignity. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Not only have the shots taken the health of our loved ones they have also hurt the families of these soldiers. The military only sees the soldier when they destroy them. But allot of these soldiers have families with young children who are also hurt and suffering reserve soldier looses everything financially while they wait for the military to do something.

My husband, who is now medically retired from the Army reserves, was ill for several months before he was placed in the hospital in Nov. 2004. He was unable to return to work with the R.R. where he supported his family on 4000.00 plus a month. After that I was the only one working but soon had to leave my job to care for him, as he was so sick. It took the military 11 months to finally put him back on orders, that was 11 months of little to no pay as week exhausted all our financial reserves and then some. We were promised back pay on the months we waited however, to this day there has been no back pay.

Since my husband wanted to be available to fight for this country if needed he joined the reserves. His main job was in the civilian life not military thus getting him to the military schools and such was difficult and he never got to promote. So, he remained an E4 even though he had the knowledge from the USMC that he served in previous to getting in to the reserves. An E4 makes about 2000.00 a month and with his disability being 60% that brought us down to 1000.00 a month. And I still can’t leave him alone as he won’t remember to get up or take his medication like he should and he requires help in other area also. Then I have to watch him around the boys as he has anger issues now that he didn’t have before. Needless to say this is not the man I married and started a family with. This kind gentile man has turned into Jekel and Hide.

We had a good life before the Anthrax Vaccines, and now we will loose our home and vehicles, as 1000.00 a month just won’t pay for everything. Our insurance’s have been canceled life, home owners and soon vehicles, the electric will soon go a long with the phone, water, and so on…..

Now not there is a casualty insurance the military automatically pays but that is to the soldiers who have lost a limb not to one who has lost the ability to function. My husband has said over and over that he would have rather lost a limb than to be going through the illnesses he has now. As he has 22 ailments to include neurological, restless leg, sleep apnea, irritable bowl syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, just to name a few. But there doesn’t seem to be any help for us financially so, his whole family suffers along with him. Thus its not just the soldier the military owns it’s also the soldiers immediate family, we all suffer the tragedy of the soldier in different ways.

I don’t know how long it will take for the SSI and VA to get on board and help but until then we have to try and make it on 1000.00 a month. This is the reward our soldier are given for protection this nation.

If I sound bitter I am and I’m sorry but I am tired of hearing this is the was the military has done for decades. This is wrong, as our nation should be standing behind the soldiers not just shrugging the shoulders and going on as if it doesn’t pertain to them. With out the soldiers there freedom to make a living in what ever way you do would not be there and the way of life would be allot different. So, its time for a change, every single person in this country needs to wake up and stand up for the soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep the country free.

So tell everyone to wake up and stand up for the care and aftercare of our soldiers and their families. These people should not have to suffer for protecting everyone else.

Many Blessings to all

christine said...

Hello, my name is Christine,

My Husband was in the Marine Corps from 1997-2001,where he was given the Anthrax Vaccine.In which he did not want to take.After contesting the vaccine, he had a choice to make,take the vaccine or be Court Marshalled.He took the Vaccine.

In 2003 He started coming down with symptoms of Lupus,Rhumatoid Arthritis and Lyme Disease among other things.After numerous trips to the ER and blood test he was not sick with any such thing. Doctors began asking him about his third world travel.The Doctors had informed us that this Illness was in him, not contagious.We started doing research on the Anthrax Vaccine and found many other Miliary personel sick with the same thing,and of course no explanation.

Now he is seeing different Specialists to try and find a treatment for this mysterious disease.If there is anyone out there with the same issue affecting a loved one please respond with any much needed advice.
thank you Christine

Attorney Richard Stevens said...


I'm very sorry to hear about your husband's post-anthrax vaccine medical problems. There is a group of professionals who continue to oppose the mandatory anthrax vaccination program and who maintain a network for those who also oppose the program or those who have been injured by it. I would suggest you contact them through their website:

Hopefully they will be able to connect you with others who are experiencing what your husband is experiencing.

Sincerely and best wishes,
Rich Stevens

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard of any effects regarding reproduction? I am married to a Seabee, and my friend in the Marines told me that the Anthrax vaccine was originally believed to cause sterility. As this is not the case, what they do seem to be finding is that the chances of conceiving a male have dropped to about 20% or less. My thoughts are with all of you as you also seek to find answers to the insane things our government has done to our men and women in uniform.

Anonymous said...

I would be grateful if someone could point me in the right direction: My fiance had his Anthrax Vax over 4 years ago prior to deployment to Kuwait. Just this year, he came home from Saudi with flu-like symptoms and respiratory issues lasting over 6 months. He has developed, over the past few months, neurological symptoms including dizziness most severe in the morning (he says it feels like being drunk), hands and feet swollen and feel 'tight' and 'stiff', muscle pain, joint pain, and other symptoms. I am a registered nurse and know these symptoms are what many people are seeing with long term reactions to anthrax investigation. What do we do now? Is there a law firm such as the host of this blog that represents these people? I don't want his symptoms to worsen, do not know what to do...please email suggestions to Thank you for reading....

Anonymous said...

Well written article.

Erica said...

Hi, My husband received a series of vaccinations in boot camp in 1998. The night of the vaccinations, he felt "drunk", dizzy and had a severe sore throat and flu like symptoms. He thought nothing of this at the time and told no one due to fear of them putting him in the sick hall. He snuck lemons out of the cafeteria and finally his sore throat went away, but the dizziness never ceased. It only got worse and to put it in a nutshell, 11 years later (at age 35) he is completely wheelchair bound, has no motor skills, coordination skills, or balance. In 2000, he was diagnosed with spinocerebellar ataxia type 2. This is a genetic condition, but we feel that one of the shots triggered it. His mother was tested for it and was positive, although she shows no symptoms. We would appreciate any comments or help we can get regarding this matter. Thanks

The Renowned Unknown said...

I served in the USMC from 1992-2000. Towards the end of my service a mandatory anthrax vaccination was required. I tried to avoid it as long as I could knowing I would be out very soon. I had to take 3 shots before I got out. The first shot caused severe pain and I came down ill with a "flu" within the day as did most of my unit. Within a couple of months I became depressed and irritable, I lost my sex drive and I became ill regularly. In 2002 I was finally diagnosed with Hypogonadtropic Hypogonadism, they can find no reason for me to have this condition at such a young age. One of the symptoms of my condition is infertility and I was advised people with my condition if not full infertility then they lose the ability to sire male children.

Lee said...


I too served in the Marine Corps during the same time and had to make that same fateful decision. Just out of pure curiosity, what unit did your husband serve with and when did he receive his vaccines? I am now experiencing all kinds of crazy issues which I think is related to the vaccine. I have muscle spasms in my arms and legs, tremors, violent jerks, and insonima. I have been tested for everything under the sun and we have begun testing for neurological disorder. I've gotten to the point were I think that I am going crazy most days and it really sucks that no doctors will listen!! For some of us the government has found an easy out by just removing all evidence of the vaccination for our records, which by the way is pretty low if you ask me!! I just want relief from my pain and my life back!