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    Airmen enjoys change of pace while deploying on COVID vaccination mission

    Airmen enjoys change of pace while deploying on COVID vaccination mission

    Photo By Spc. Hunter Garcia | Senior Airman Marcus Dufour, left, an air traffic control apprentice assigned to the...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Hunter Garcia 

    Federal Vaccine Response

    ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – Senior Airman Marcus Dufour, an air traffic control apprentice assigned to the 509th Bombardment Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, explains his role at the Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    “Being able to directly interact with people that we’re helping is really cool,” said Dufour. “Being a part of a big mission and seeing the direct results of what we’re doing is pretty cool.”

    Dufour is a medical supply runner.

    “What I do is ensure all the vaccinators have all the supplies they need to do their job,” he said. “Whether that's vaccines, band aids, gloves, wipes, things like that, I give them everything they need.”

    This mission is a change of pace from Senior Airman Dufour’s usual line of work.

    “Being in air traffic, we do customer service, but not in the same manner. It is not as personal,” he said. “This job keeps me busy. It keeps me moving and allows me to chat with a lot of people that come in, which really helps pass the time.”

    Dufour, originally from Newberg, Oregon, got to meet many people well acquainted with his hometown.

    “I've gotten a chance to speak with a lot of people who are here in Minnesota and are from the Pacific Northwest,” Dufour said. “Being able to talk to people who were stationed in Washington and other states is great.”

    He attributes the accomplishments of the St. Paul CVC to the diversity of service members working at the site.

    “We have a lot of different thought processes and that helps generate many different ideas,” he said. “That's been really key in getting things done. We get to talk to a lot of different airmen from across the nation. Seeing where they come from, learning from their experiences. That is my favorite part.”

    Dufour says this mission has provided the St. Paul community the opportunity to connect with service members in a new way.

    “People come in and they assume we’re National Guard. They come asking where we're from thinking we're going to say some part of Minnesota. Then we tell him we're active duty,” he said. “They ask questions like, ‘What do you guys like? Why are you guys out here?’ It just feels good to be able to tell them that we do more than go on overseas deployments.”

    People join the military for many reasons. For Dufour, it was out of patriotic duty.

    “It's a typical corny answer, but I definitely joined to serve my country,” he said. “I enjoy the benefits of serving, of course, but I knew I wanted to join back in high school just to serve my country.”

    U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing continued, flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the whole-of-government response to COVID-19.



    Date Taken: 05.11.2021
    Date Posted: 05.13.2021 14:59
    Story ID: 396317
    Location: ST. PAUL, MN, US 

    Web Views: 17
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