The medics of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) continue to support and care for their Soldiers during the COVID-19 pandemic through their work at LaPointe Medical Home and within their battalion aid stations.
While ensuring the safety of the force and unit readiness, the medics also provide training for their Soldiers to earn Combat Life Saver qualifications.
Yet, there is one medic who has gone above and beyond his regular duties by joining the Screaming Eagles’ fight against COVID-19 at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.
Specialist George Lulack, medic, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, volunteers at BACH every day after completing his assigned duties at LaPointe Medical Home.
“I’ve volunteered down at the COVID-19 clinic since March 18,” Lulack said. “I’ve only missed seven days, and five of those days I was on quarantine due to being near someone who later showed symptoms of COVID-19.”
Lulack’s workday at LaPointe starts at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. After a three-hour break, he heads to BACH’s COVID-19 clinic where he works until 10 p.m.
“This is a drive-thru clinic where patients will call us with their symptoms and the triage center will identify if they need to come to our drive-thru or not,” he said. “We can screen and run a few tests from here to see if they need to be admitted, self-quarantine or gain any additional assistance.”
Angela Strohl, clinical nurse officer-in-charge at BACH’s COVID-19 clinic, works with Lulack regularly.
“I admire Lulack’s selfless service to a critical mission that not only supports Soldier readiness but helps to ensure the safety and well-being of Family members and staff,” Strohl said. “His presence greatly improves the morale and capabilities of our COVID-19 testing team.”
Lulack proudly takes time out of his day to volunteer because he believes it is simply the right thing to do.
“The first person I swabbed was a 3-year-old kid,” he said. “The whole reason I became a medic was to help people. I really tried to get on that plane to go to New York to help the team. A pandemic doesn’t come around every day, and this virus is affecting the world. I honestly want to do my part to help people get through it.”
Lulack will continue to serve at BACH, where he is needed to beat COVID-19.
But he doesn’t fight it alone, Lulack is in good company with those who he considers heroes – the volunteer nursing staff.
“The real heroes are the nurses who are volunteering down here,” he said. “For them to take all these changes in stride is impressive, and they are all down here of their own will to fight this pandemic.”
Nurses and clinical staff from across the installation and the BACH have volunteered to work in the COVID-19 clinic. They work 12-hour shifts or until the last patient has left the facility and received care.
One of Lulack’s battle buddies, Melissa Gindhart, BACH medical support assistant, has been there with him from the beginning.
When BACH leaders asked for volunteers to support operations in the COVID-19 clinic, Gindhart was one of the first to volunteer.
“We all come from different clinics,” she said. “I volunteered to come down here because this is my original clinic. I’ve been here since the beginning in March.”
Gindhart works 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and prefers the night shift when she works with Lulack until the last patient is treated.
“Looking at up to 45 patients or more a day can be very stressful,” Gindhart said. “Lulack consistently comes in and makes sure all of the nurses are taken care of because he goes above and beyond to help out. We really appreciate him here. He has such a good attitude. We have come from all over the installation and BACH and I love it. We’ve made such a Family here and Lulack is part of that Family.”