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    South Carolina National Guard Soldiers serve on the frontlines fighting against COVID-19

    South Carolina National Guard Soldiers serve on the frontlines fighting against COVID-19

    Courtesy Photo | U.S. Army Pfc. Kaila Diggs, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 51st Military...... read more read more

    BENNETTSVILLE, SC, UNITED STATES

    03.02.2021

    Story by Staff Sgt. Brad Mincey 

    South Carolina National Guard

    BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. -- For nearly a year, U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers with the South Carolina National Guard have served in their communities, filling a variety of roles during the COVID-19 pandemic in both military and civilian capacities to meet the needs of the citizens.

    U.S. Army Pfc. Kaila Diggs, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 51st Military Police Battalion, South Carolina National Guard, is one of these South Carolinians who serve their state and community as a citizen-Soldier. Like many other South Carolina National Guard Soldiers, Diggs has been on the frontlines supporting medical personnel and other emergency responders in the fight against COVID-19.

    In the South Carolina National Guard, Diggs serves as a petroleum supply specialist and assists with dispatching vehicles. As a nursing student at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, she serves the citizens at vaccination clinics, ensuring those who meet the phase requirements can get the vaccine. As a frontline medic assisting with vaccinations, she feels she is doing her part to fight this disease that has affected nearly 28 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “It is important to me to assist with the vaccination process for several reasons,” said Diggs. “The main one is to help stop the spread of this deadly and debilitating disease. Vaccinating patients also gives me the chance to educate the community about the vaccine and encourage people to continue to take the proper measures to fight COVID-19. It also allows me as a future nurse to learn more about different areas of nursing outside of the hospital setting.”

    Diggs also has a personal reason for fighting COVID-19, as this virus has adversely impacted her family. Recently, she lost a cousin to COVID-19, and she and her family are still mourning the loss.

    "That makes the fight against COVID-19 personal for me," said Diggs. "It is a serious disease, and it can cause lasting effects. It’s not fun knowing that a family member has COVID and you can't visit them because of the pandemic.”

    Soldiers join the National Guard for a variety of reasons. Like many of her fellow battle buddies, Diggs joined because she wanted a change in her life and daily routine.

    "I also wanted a challenge, and I wanted to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be a well-rounded individual and Soldier,” added Diggs.

    In the four years that Diggs has been in the South Carolina National Guard, this is her first opportunity to work directly with the public.

    “It is an honor to serve my community as a member of the Guard and as a future nurse, said Diggs. “It feels good to help people. Helping people is something that my family has instilled in me. My grandmother was a pillar in Lake City, and she was helping people literally until she passed away in 2012. Helping others is a passion of mine; to be able to help people in my career as well as in my free time, truly makes me feel blessed."

    With her role as a citizen-Soldier, Diggs has also made an impact on leadership.

    "While visiting the COVID-19 vaccination site at Marlboro County High School in Bennettsville, South Carolina, I saw a young nurse who stood out among her peers," said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. C. Kevin Pickrel, South Carolina National Guard 59th Troop Command command sergeant major. “[She] was competent, capable, caring, and professional…[she was] standing and ready to engage. The scrubs, the [personal protective equipment], the civilian coat, just immaculate…Am amazing story of a Soldier fighting COVID-19 in a civilian capacity.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.02.2021
    Date Posted: 03.02.2021 15:50
    Story ID: 390162
    Location: BENNETTSVILLE, SC, US 

    Web Views: 173
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN