News | Oct. 8, 2021

Admiral visits Wright-Patt clinic to thank Airmen

By R.J. Oriez 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Rear Adm. Kristen Fabry visited Wright-Patterson Medical Center on Oct. 1 to thank the 88th Medical Group Airmen who provided active duty and civilians at Defense Supply Center Columbus with the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year.

The Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime commander was shown the COVID and flu vaccine point-of-dispensing operations in the Medical Center’s auditorium and met with most of the 11 Airmen who made up the team that went to Columbus.

“I was on travel when you guys came down there,” Fabry said. “So I wanted to make sure to come out and thank you today for everything you all have done and continue to do. The journey continues on this.

“It really speaks to your team’s agility and willingness to step in and support and help out your sister installation over there in Columbus. So thank you again for taking care of our patients and all of our civil service and military folks. I can’t thank you enough for that and being willing to team with us because you certainly had enough work here.”

After meeting with the Airmen, Fabry recounted the situation she was facing at the time.

“It’s hard to imagine now, but way back in February and March, we were trying to figure out how to get vaccines out to our folks,” she said.  

She was concerned for her first responders, a fire department and police force, as well as engineers who were working in a base lab and could not telework.

The admiral said she was also aware Wright-Patt was 70 miles away and the vaccine needed to be kept cold.

“This team was so willing to work with us and figure out a way to say yes,” Fabry said. “I can’t thank this team enough for looking at all the complexities of that and still saying, ‘We can do this, we can make it happen.’”

Col. Christian Lyons, 88th MDG commander, voiced pride in his Airmen.

“I think it is a testament to our mighty medics, the fact that we’re able to extend our reach and provide trusted care outside the walls of our Medical Center,” he said. “We have extended our reach to protect our community and our population by projecting our medical force to when and where any portions of the (Defense Department) and our executive branch partners need our assistance. And I’m very proud of the team for that.”