Tenn. National Guard salutes health care workers with flyovers

Posted at 2:13 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 19:18:56-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee's health care heroes were honored with a special flyover on Tuesday.

The Tennessee National Guard scheduled two aircraft flyovers across the state. C-17 and KC-135 aircraft flew over dozens of hospitals and health care facilities.

“We are incredibly grateful to the men and women serving our state in the health care field. This flyover is a small token of our appreciation,” said Col. Jason Glass, Assistant Adjutant General, Tennessee Air National Guard. “When you look to the skies on Tuesday, remember to say thank you to the Tennesseans all across our state who are working to protect us from this virus.”

Often times it’s our service members who receive honor for making the ultimate sacrifice.

But Monday, they took a taking a step back to thank those sacrificing their lives to fight this pandemic.

"I don’t think that any of us really think of ourselves as heroes, this is sort of the job that we signed up for when we went into this specialty, said Dr. Tyler Barrett at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

"I seen those T-shirts that superheroes wear scrubs but I think they wear a lot of other uniforms.'

Like going to battle, health care workers are suiting up in PPE, arming themselves with modern medicine to help take down one of country’s biggest threats which right now is COVID 19.

"It’s been great to get some additional recognition and acknowledgment," said Barrett, "I think we’re all really just doing our jobs and trying our best to take care of our patients and each other."

The Tennessee National Guard has been an integral part of the state's response to COVID-19. Hundreds of airmen and soldiers have volunteered to help with the pandemic. Many work alongside health care workers every day.

"We're going to make flights all across Tennessee and cover as many hospitals and clinics as we possibly can," said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, the Adjutant General of the Tennessee National Guard. "Our purpose is to take a step back and salute our health care workers. Every echelon, every community, every sector. We are oftentimes the beneficiaries of this honor that our citizens give us when we return from being deployed overseas, and we're taking this opportunity to take a step back and salute their heroic efforts."