The COVID-19 pandemic changed how many of us spent Thanksgiving with smaller gatherings or passing up the opportunity to see friends and family in the hopes of keeping everyone safe from the virus.
In North Dakota approximately 60 U.S. Air Force nurses; behavioral support specialists; religious support specialists; and members of Task Force Center, based out of Lansing, Michigan, which is providing command and control, were also away from their loved ones to support the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 response operations. These service members are supporting six hospitals across the state, caring for COVID-19 patients alongside their civilian counterparts.
Even though the Soldiers and Airmen are away from home on Thanksgiving, these service members were able to spend this Thanksgiving holiday with their military family, while still maintaining social distancing and the Department of Defense guidelines for COVID-19 mitigation.
“I called my grandpa to see how he is doing,” said Sgt. Kathryn Davis, deployed with Task Force Center. “I feel bad for those that have to be alone in order to be safe. At least I am here with my military brothers and sisters and it still feels like a holiday and a celebration of thanks”.
Although Thanksgiving wasn’t exactly “normal” this year for these service members, trying to keep each other safe and mitigate the spread of the virus is the number one priority until COVID-19 is defeated.
“We are so thankful to have the support of these Soldiers and Airmen,” said Karen Zimmerman, registered nurse and Chief Nursing Officer at Trinity Hospital, North Dakota. “We need you, and America needs you.”