‘It’s a proud privilege to be a solider’: Lynchburg-area first responders help fight COVID-19 in northern states

CMS Nathan Chapman, 1st Sgt. Blake Hudson stationed in Pennsylvania with 338th Medical Brigade

LYNCHBURG, Va. – “It’s a proud privilege to be a solider and we are truly happy here,” Nathan Chapman said.

Chapman and Blake Hudson have traded in their uniforms with the Lynchburg Fire Department and Amherst County Sheriff’s Office for camouflage fatigues with the United States Army Reserves.

Command Sargent Major Chapman and 1st Sargent Blake Hudson are now stationed in a town outside of Philadelphia helping lead the charge with the 338th Medical Brigade.

It’s a medical task force made up of 85 person teams, many of which are in New York City.

“They got a very warm welcome from the citizens of New York City and they are actively engaged daily in treating patients at the (inaudible) center,” Chapman said.

Doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists volunteered to leave their practices at home and provide relief to doctors and nurses overwhelmed in New York hospitals.

“We’re supplementing them or we’re giving them a chance to be able to take a break so they can refresh a bit,” Hudson said.

A month away from home hasn't been easy for the men.

“It’s been challenging but also rewarding in a sense for our families to understand what we’re here doing what we’re doing," Hudson said.

While understanding goes a long way--- the fight against the coronavirus is unpredictable and Hudson and Chapman are prepared to stay put until the mission is complete,” Hudson said.

“We thank the support from everyone back home everyone that’s shown our families support from our employers to our friends and even strangers who have reached out,” Hudson said.