"The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country "
General George S. Patton Jr.
Memorial Day Essay for 2022
1st Place Winner: Alex Moritz, 8th Grade, St. Margaret School, Narberth, PA
How has the US military assisted America during the COVID-19 pandemic?
When COVID-19 first ravaged through the United States back in March of 2020, many military actions were put into place. The military did have some advantages in dealing with the pandemic and its effects, but some actions would have been better if the public had handled it instead. Whether it was the deployment of the National Guard or the quick production of supplies to try and stop the spread of it, the military helped in many ways to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and assist the public.
In the beginning of the pandemic, members of the National Guard were sent to big cities to help under the activation of Title 32. Title 32 is an effect that is put into place in a time of crisis to put National Guard members in states but have them be under control of the state governor. In Title 10, another option, members are deployed but they remain under the control of the federal government. The government ended up going with Title 32. They also went with State Active Duty (SAD). SAD is very similar to Title 32, although it is funded by the state government instead of the federal one. The members of the National Guard were sent to help administer food, do testing, and give vaccine administration. The National Guard also set up makeshift field hospitals in case of an overwhelming amount of patients were in hosptials.
Another way that the military helped is the deployment of their hospital ships. The United States Navy has two hospital ships, The USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy. The Comfort is stationed on the East Coast, outside of Norfolk Virginia, but was moved to New York Ciy because it has many more people. The Mercy is usually stationed on the other side of the country, in San Diego California. However, like the Comfort, it was moved to a bigger city, this one being Los Angeles. These ships acted as regular hospitals, treating patients that were not infected with the virus. They could hold around 1,000 people, and took a large crew. However, these proved to de disappointing because the Comfort only helped 182 people and the Mercy only helped 77. The two ships left after not even 2 months. Were they helpful? Yes. Despite having low numbers, they still treated and saved patients, I find that to be a success.
One last way was how the military helped during Operation Warp Speed. This operation was a plan to rapidly get a vaccine for Covid. The military helped by assisting scientists with their research and opening up vaccine reseach facilities all over the country. Many members helped out and it eventually produced some vaccines. That is another success that the military helped play a role in.