Some people might find it intimidating to advise someone who can answer the question, “You and what Army?”, but that is what Army Spc. Samuel Shepard did during a recent telephone conversation with President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, giving an update on his unit’s mission.
The 25-year-old medic and his fellow soldiers assigned to the 9th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade have been deployed from Ft. Hood to Manhattan, NY, to support the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as local police and first responders. Grueling 15-hour days saw the conversion of the Javitz Convention Center into a field hospital.
Shepard was scouting potential field hospital sites in case they got such a request when he was told to do something he would never forget: the President and Defense Secretary were holding a conference call with service members and their families, and he was asked to give an update on his unit’s mission.
”It was a great experience to get to update the president on everything that was going on,” he said.
During the phone call, Shepard briefed the President and the Defense Secretary on how the military can support additional requests for assistance, thus reducing the pressure on New York’s overburdened medical system.
”Seventy-two hours after we left, we were on ground, helping to build the first 1,000 beds and all the patient care and hygiene systems and the staff care and hygiene systems, which were our top priorities,” Shepard told the president.