JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. --
As the giant C-17 Globemaster III from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, parked in its designated spot here, a half-dozen Reservists assigned to the 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., emerged from the aircraft to a heartfelt “welcome home” from family and fellow team members today, after responding to the call for medical personnel in New York City to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When these Airmen are not donning the uniform, many of them serve in the local medical community, leaving their civilian careers and family behind.
“I am proud of my wife, but ready for a vacation,” said Jaime Linen, husband of Maj. Tamika Linen with the 315th AMDS, as he clutched their two-year-old son who was anxious to give his mother a bouquet of flowers upon her arrival. Maj. Linen serves as an operating room nurse at Trident Medical Center, located in North Charleston, when she is not performing her duties as a local Reservist.
The primary mission of these Reservists was to work in various New York City hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients and working within their civilian specialties. The team, which consisted of a doctor, two physician assistants and four nurses, left Charleston with 48-hours’ notice nearly a month ago to assist with the nation’s COVID-19 response.
Capt. Shawn Crowley, the 315th AMDS Officer-in-Charge of Training and Education and Trauma Program Manager at the Medical University of South Carolina, described the experience as patient care 101.
“We trained for what we were doing and provided a high level of patient care on a daily basis,” said Crowley with his wife and two young children by his side. “The team was tasked with providing daily intensive care unit work.”
All military members were tested for COVID-19 prior to being released. Of the seven Airmen from Charleston serving in New York, one returned last week, five returned today and one will return at a later date.
“I am proud of the work our Citizen Airmen have been doing to help fellow Americans,” said Col. Adam Willis, commander of the 315th Airlift Wing. “Now it’s time to bring them home to their families and say thank you."