AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Today 20 members of the Texas Army National Guard helping with vaccine distribution across the state made their first stop in the Panhandle.
They hosted a vaccine clinic at the Moore County community building for anyone eligible who needed their first dose.
Throughout the day people trickled in, but given they brought a little over 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, they will open the clinic again tomorrow starting at 8:00 in the morning until they run out.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, about 25 percent of those eligible in Moore County have received the vaccine.
For many, like the county’s emergency management coordinator, events like the one today are the light at the end of the tunnel.
“This year has been real rough, we have lost, as of yesterday, 69 lives of Moore County residents due to COVID. We have had a lot of sick people,” said Tommy Brooks, coordinator at Moore County Emergency Management .
Brooks coordinated the effort with the Texas Department of Emergency Management and says they expect to have a second dose clinic for those who received their first one today sometime in April.
Among the 20 national guard men, half are medics. They are the ones administering the vaccine, while the rest are helping with operations.
A sergeant helping today says both groups are essential in running the clinic and all have felt very fulfilled by their contribution.
“I can honestly say after being in it for nine years, I have never gone on a local mission like this,” said Sergeant Joshua Hardwick, U.S Army Sergeant “I have only ever been overseas, and it has been really satisfying to apply the knowledge I’ve gained being oversees, working with other organizations here on the home front essentially.”
The feeling of gratitude is mutual.
“A gentlemen handed me a large sum of money and asked me to buy all these military guys lunch today. So, we have them lunch ordered, it will be provided on behalf of him. The community is very generous.” said Brooks.
Brooks along with his colleague have been helping with previous efforts since the pandemic began and are just appreciative of the help from the state.
“It is great to see our military. I was telling the gentlemen in there, we appreciate their service and he said well this is part of our service, so it is a good thing,” said Robert Brehm, assistant coordinator at Moore County Emergency Management.
The National Guard will also host a vaccine clinic for the Hereford Community this coming Tuesday.