Lt. Col. Emmanuel Ortiz of Human Resources Command told military.com the Army is looking for those not already working full-time in local hospitals. In a phone call with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he said the first 24 hours after the callout, 9,000 volunteered. That grew to 17,000 over the weekend. The Army is still sorting out the responses.
Peterson is hoping to hear back before her contract runs out.
Phyllis Wilson, who lives near Washington, D.C., is a retired nurse who also volunteered, if needed. She spent 37 years in the Army and Army Reserves. Her family has a tradition of military service, including her four sons. She said she was unafraid of possibly being put back into medical service at a time when front line workers are being exposed to coronavirus.
“In the 80’s in nursing, many of my peers were concerned with HIV and AIDS patients,” she said. “It never worried me, and I am still here. I realize that this is a totally different situation, but I think that is what this is all about. And I answered the call.”
Helping fill the holes created when others are sent to the hot spots means she will have less possible exposure to the deadly disease.
“That will put them more in harms way than me,” she said.
Ortiz said the Army should have a clearer view of the next steps toward the end of this week.