In the wake of COVID-19, many cultural, political and medical experts ponder what life will be like when the crisis resolves and the pandemic ends. One prediction hits home like no other in the Temple community: When this all ends, the doctors, nurses and medical professionals fighting on the front lines of our global common enemy will be recognized with patriotic appreciation. Much as we salute members of the armed forces we may say, “Thank you for your service,” to those who defend and protect the health of our communities. In Temple, we are blessed to have a strong community fueled by both medical and armed forces support.
Last week, 25 medical soldiers from Fort Hood deployed to Fort Dix, New Jersey to support the COVID-19 battle in the New York epicenter. Another 275 soldiers will deploy in the coming weeks to reinforce these efforts.
In a recent release from Fort Hood reported in the Temple Daily Telegram, Colonel Robert Howe, 1st Medical Brigade Commander said, “As the United States military’s oldest and largest medical brigade, we stand ready to support the people of the United States in their time of need.”
Temple is home to storied healthcare and military industries. While many travel to Temple from across the nation to receive top-tier healthcare, Temple residents simply step outside their door. With three medical schools and more than 10 major healthcare systems located within 150 miles, 40 percent of the local workforce is employed in healthcare. Additionally, nearby Fort Hood is the largest active duty armored post in the United States. Of the 600 military members who transition to civilian life each month, 35 percent opt to remain in Central Texas.
From first-class medical responders to armed services members who put their life on the line to protect our quality of life and health, Temple roots run deep. We say a resounding thank you to these brave individuals and their families for their continuous sacrifices. Temple residents are invited by the city to join the movement and Clap Because We Care. Every Tuesday at 7 p.m., beginning April 7, 2020, step outside to clap for one minute to show appreciation for our health care professionals, military members, first responders, grocery workers and all other essential personnel.
Remember to check our COVID-19 Resources page to stay up-to-date on the rapidly evolving global health situation, with local updates from Temple and Bell County officials. Follow Temple EDC on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest updates from our growing community. We will get through this together and will be stronger on the other side. Temple Strong.