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Pilots' Corner - Lt. Col. Thomas S. Heemstra
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Lieutenant Colonel Thomas S. Heemstra, an F-16 Fighter Squadron Commander, enjoyed a successful military career spanning twenty years. With over 3000 flying hours and 15 combat missions in the Gulf War, Heemstra was no stranger to risk. He cared deeply about the welfare of his pilots and their ability to perform, and was diligent concerning all safety matters associated with the demanding F-16 cockpit. As his officer training had taught him, he questioned the ethics and the risks involved in the military's mandatory anthrax vaccination program.

Heemstra's concern for his pilots compelled him to gather independent evidence of the hazardous nature of the vaccine. When he made the information available to his squadron, the Air Force retaliated with punishment, malicious performance reports, and, finally, forced retirement. He testified twice before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations concerning the exodus of Air Force pilots and the safety of the anthrax vaccine, and he has developed a strong base of support within Congress.

Heemstra's book, "Anthrax: A Deadly Shot in the Dark" is available to active-duty troops at the discounted price of $6.00 plus shipping at http://www.adscripts.com (go to book section, scroll down). Regular price is $14.95; ask at your local book store.

Heemstra has been featured on News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, ABC News, CNN, Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC; and Common Sense with Oliver North, on Radio America.

Tom Heemstra lives with his family in Kentucky.

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