Veterans During the Pandemic

A lot of times when people think of essential employees during this global pandemic, they think of our doctors and nurses who are making sure everyone’s healthy and safe throughout this crisis. People don’t really think about our armed services and their struggles.

Service members still have to work and can’t just take days off and stop protecting our country for a few months, then start again when the pandemics are over. They still have to go out and serve our country, just like doctors and nurses do.

Three veterans who work for the US Air Force shared their views and thoughts about this pandemic and how work has been for them, including what has changed.

Chief Jerry Harms, who is the Chief at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey said “I think things have definitely changed but not drastically. There are less people down at the offices, but we’re still required to do and go to work. We’re just being mindful of distance and putting lots of hand sanitizer on.”

Senior Master Tom Riley, one of Chief Harms recruiters at McGuire AFB said “We definitely have tried to make sure we are being mindful of our distance, so we all sit in different rooms, and wear masks in the building. We also have been working less hours in the office, and more at home.”

Riley says the most difficult part of his job is recruiting.
“I personally feel like it’s been a challenge because we can’t see other people to actually recruit them. When we have to work at home there are lots of distractions and it’s hard to get the work done.”

Senior Master Sergeant Kenneth Bachman, who works down at Dover Air Force Base, shared his views about his work and what it’s been like.

“I’m really the only one who is at the office. Everyone else is working from home, but I do only go in only 4 days a week. It has been a challenge but all of us go on a Zoom call and check in with each other to make sure things are still going smoothly.”