Fort Bragg soldiers head to NYC to help as city reports deadliest day of COVID-19 pandemic

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – More Fort Bragg soldiers are headed to New York City as officials there just reported the deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak with 731 deaths.

The soldiers are part of the 44th Medical Brigade and they will be supporting fellow soldiers with maintaining two temporary hospitals at the Javits Convention Center.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

“We’ll be monitoring the movement of patients in and out of the hospital,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Fergus Joseph. “There’s always nervousness in anything that you’re doing, but I have confidence in all the training that we’ve done.”

Joseph is leaving behind his wife and two toddlers, while Capt. Islandia Whidbee said goodbye to her daughter and husband.

“I told them that I love them and I appreciate their support because they support me throughout my entire military career, and I just told them that I love them and I’ll see them soon.”

Both soldiers have deployed overseas before, but now they’re taking on a new kind of fight from home.

“It gives me pride to be able to take part in Americans helping Americans,” Joseph said.

“It’s definitely a different feeling,” Whidbee said. “Being able to say that we are going some place to support the people of the United States, and to let them see the type of training that we do on a daily basis, so I think that’s rewarding and it will be fulfilling.”

Brigade Chaplain Ivan Arreguin sent the group off with a prayer.

“Part of my responsibility is to be able to communicate God is here among us, He’s watching over us, He’s taking care of us, He’s keeping an eye on us.”

The soldiers do not know how long this mission will be.

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