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    The other team at Globe Life Field: A look inside one of Arlington’s vaccination centers

    Arlington Teacher Receives Vaccine

    Photo By Cpl. William Redding | Rachel Wappel, a middle school Spanish teacher, receives her COVID-19 vaccine at the...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Royce Dorman 

    Federal Vaccine Response

    On March 11, 2021 Marines and Sailors with 1st Marine Logistics Group in partnership with civil and federal partners administered over 4,000 COVID-19 vaccines at the Globe Life Field Community Vaccination Center (CVC) in Arlington, Texas.

    The contingent of Department of Defense personnel are one of many military units that have been sent to support CVCs across the country under the operational control of U.S. Northern Command. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requested additional support from the DOD to assist in administering the vaccine as part of President Joe Biden’s initiative to vaccinate the American people.

    “This site right here is a great example of what FEMA does,” said Kathy Clark the FEMA site manager at Globe Life Field CVC. “We are pulling together local, state and federal resources to support the Arlington community, but we are doing this nation-wide too.”

    Like many others springing up all over the U.S., this site is operating seven days a week to safely and efficiently vaccinate as many Americans as possible. In Texas, specifically in Tarrant County, there has been a big effort to vaccinate educators who are slowly beginning to teach again.

    “It was a struggle for being out so long” said Rachel Wappel, a middle school Spanish teacher in Tarrant County. “Being out so long was more motivation than anything.”

    Wappel likened the extended time out of the classroom as the extinguishing of a fire, but added that she and many educators like her are just ready to get back in the classroom and stoke the coals of learning.

    “We can’t just look at our own well-being anymore. I think we have moved so far past that, not just as teachers, but collectively as human beings and as a nation,” said Wappel who received her first dose of COVID vaccine today. “We need to do this to look out for the welfare of others as well as ourselves, and in that regard we’ll be taking steps towards our future.”

    According to Wappel the future is something that looks promising, but doesn’t come without sobering reminders of how far the nation has come and how far there is left to go.

    “It is overwhelming in a powerful and positive way,” Wappel said reflectively. She took a moment more as she measured her response. “It’s been a painful time for the world, but all pain heals and lends itself to making you stronger.”

    She finished by saying that this isn’t a time that she will soon forget nor is it something we should let our children forget about either. For the nurses, medical personnel and other first responders this ‘COVID-year’ has been long and tiring.

    “I’ve been in this for about a year now,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Colleen Casey, an Intensive Care Unit Nurse with 1st MLG. “It’s been the hardest work year of my life. Some days you get home and you don’t even want to eat, you just want to go to bed.”

    Casey’s words hung in the air carried by a long heart-rending silence as she paused. She was seemingly back on board USNS Mercy in Los Angeles, Calif. where her work with COVID-19 began. At the time the Mercy was assigned with helping COVID-19 patients. Now Casey is working at the Globe Life Field CVC and is prudently optimistic of the future.

    “I think what gives me hope is the vaccine. It’s how many people are coming out willing to get the vaccine to protect their friends and family,” said Casey.

    Wappel, like Casey, also sees the vaccine as a silver lining of sorts. As she looked around the observation area after receiving the vaccine, Wappel observed members of the Arlington Fire Department, military personnel as well as members of FEMA and American Medical Response – distinguishable only by the uniforms they wear; simply just Americans working together. All of whom are playing a vital role in helping vaccinate the Arlington community.

    “To be honest it kind of feels like the whole time since COVID struck – it feels like clouds are moving apart a little bit, and I don’t mean for that to sound cheesy,” said Wappel as she paused a bit. “There’s hope shining through, and there’s a motivation and a collaboration from our leadership and I hope that shines through to the public.”



    Date Taken: 03.11.2021
    Date Posted: 03.12.2021 16:05
    Story ID: 391319
    Location: ARLINGTON, TX, US

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