CHICAGO – U.S. Army Spc. David La’Cour, a Chicago native and generator mechanic with Bravo Company, 426th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), is part of a 222-person Type 1 vaccination support team that deployed to the United Center Community Vaccination Center in Chicago to support the whole-of-government COVID response.
A Type-1 site has the capabilities to administer up to 6,000 vaccinations a day.
La’Cour has performed many duties since arriving at the vaccination site in early March, to include helping to set up the site for operations, and register community members as they arrive for their appointment. The one duty that will always be memorable for him will be the moment he administered the vaccine to his brother.
“It was more than memorable,” said La’Cour. “I am helping the community and the city I grew up in, but was also able to take care of my brother, and never would have thought I would be afforded the opportunity to share a moment like this with my family.”
La’Cour joined the Army in 2016 as a combat medic and received his EMT certification, before he was reclassed to a generator mechanic.
After finding out that his brigade would be deploying to Chicago in response to the vaccination efforts, La’Cour was happy to be coming home to serve not only his local community, but his family as well.
He became certified on the COVID-19 vaccination training in order to administer the vaccine to his younger brother, who was hesitant at first to receive the vaccine, but in the end, decided it was the right thing to do.
“I wasn’t really planning on it,” said Justyn La’Cour, the Soldier’s younger brother. “My father got it. Then, my brother got it and called me asking me if I was interested in getting it. Honestly, I was going to pass on it, but it’s probably the more conscious thing to do for the community and for the people around me.”
This was never the kind of mission La’Cour thought that he would have been a part of but is glad to have had the opportunity to make a difference for the community members of Chicago, a place he also calls home.
“It’s been great,” La’Cour said. “I get to see my family every once in a while, but I’m enjoying the entire experience of the humanitarian mission and helping the people.”
La’Cour has a lot of family in the area of Chicago and is hoping that this mission will help bring back some normalcy to their lives.
“I know that my cousin and my uncle reopened a restaurant not long before COVID hit and they were very much thriving,” said La’Cour. “When COVID did hit they had to close the restaurant down for a while.”
Once Chicago allowed places to open back up to half capacity, his cousin decided they would only do order out and has worked very hard to keep the business going.
Justyn is proud of everything his brother has accomplished during his time in service, and to have the opportunity to spend some time with him.
“This is awesome,” said Justyn. “It’s good that he gets to come back to his hometown and do something for his own community.”
La’Cour hopes the efforts made at the vaccination site will soon help bring his community and his family back to some state of normalcy.
Within the five weeks the United Center Community Vaccination Center opened, it has administered over 170,000 COVID-19 vaccines to the community members in Chicago.