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Governor visits Camp Shelby to present awards to National Guard for COVID efforts

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - This week, Gov. Tate Reeves has been traveling to different parts of the state to present awards to the Mississippi National Guard for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

Reeves made a stop at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg Wednesday, where he said their work at all the mass vaccination sights across the state have been nothing short of exceptional.

“It’s really to say thank you to these men and women of the Mississippi National Guard, the Mississippi Department of Health, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency,” Reeves said. “Their efforts to get Mississippians vaccinated has been heroic.”

Reeves presented them with plagues and metals for their hard work. He said the nearly 1 million people who were vaccinated at one of the state’s mass vaccination locations would attest to their hard work.

“Without exception, they brag on the efficiency and the kind of people that we had in uniform that were getting people through very quickly, and I’m so proud of these individuals and I want to come her and personally say thank you to each and every one of them,” Reeves said.

Sgt. Alexus Caster came home from deployment and immediately started working to fight COVID-19. She said it was a wake-up call.

“Because honestly, at first I didn’t think it was such a big deal,” Caster said. “Soming from deployment and coming into the U.S. and seeing COVID, I didn’t think it was as big as it was and it started off as testing and having my own testing sight. It was kind of hard.”

But now she sees the bigger picture and she said it feels great to have all of her hard work appreciated.

“Just seeing how thankful people were, they were bringing us donuts to let us know how appreciative they were,” Caster said. “It was great and having the governor pin me himself today, it was a great feeling.”

Reeves also presented awards in Tupelo Tuesday and will present more Thursday in Jackson.

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