Rayville resident Capt. Emily Stansbury was deployed in July with Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force-7452 (UAMTF-7452) as part of the Department of Defense’s pandemic response. Her unit has been supporting DHR Health facility in Edinburg, Texas.
Not only did Stansbury join the front lines in responding to the virus, but she also fulfilled her lifelong dream of serving with the Army.
“I dreamed of being in the Army since 5th grade,” Stansbury said in a public statement on Sept. 10. “Years later when an Army recruiter came to my nurse practitioner graduating class and told us the benefits and need for nurse practitioners, I joined that day.”
However, as part of the Reserves, Capt. Stansbury had never been on deployment prior to the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Not many people can say that their first mobilization with the Army was in response to a global pandemic.
When the Army Reserve Medical Command announced the deployment of UAMTF-7452 to Edinburg on Facebook, people were quick to hail Stansbury and her task force as national heroes.
“Honored to serve with this amazing practitioner,” commented Kim Whittaker, a fellow nurse practitioner.
Another comment read, “Absolutely the hero of our time.”
Since March, more than 1,000 Army Reserve medical professionals have risen to the call to assist the nation’s response to the virus.
Capt. Stansbury says it’s not just a duty but her privilege.
“This is my first mobilization, being called to serve the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic is an honor,” she said.
She adds that the staff at DHR Health were overjoyed upon the arrival of the UAMTF-7452’s 85-member team of doctors, nurses, combat medics, respiratory therapists, and other specialized personnel.
“They definitely needed support from the long hours they had been working from the massive overload of COVID-19 positive patients needing hospitalization,” Stansbury said.
It was nothing like her hospital back home. At Richardson Medical Center, Stansbury worked as a surgical prep nurse practitioner. She said the ER had been busy with patients with the virus but nowhere near the sheer overload at DHR.
She called out the Richardson Medical Center employees as a vital part of enabling her service in Edinburg.
“Each soldier left a job that had to be filled by the staff we left behind,” she said. “Without them covering our jobs at home, like the medical staff in my rural hometown of Rayville, we could not complete our mission.”
Capt. Stansbury’s husband has also been supportive of her work with the U.S. Army. She calls him “The force behind me; helping my dreams come true.”
Following in her footsteps, Stansbury’s two sons are both attending medical school.
This deployment even gave her the opportunity to serve in the same area as her oldest son, Will, who is currently undergoing his clinical rotations in McAllen, Texas.
Now, the UAMTF-7452 has nearly completed its mission in Edinburg.
“Being mobilized to the Rio Grande Valley has been a very humbling experience,” Capt. Stansbury reflects. “Our task force came together as a team to give everything we had to aid in the crisis. I hope the people of Edinburg know we gave our all and that it was a privilege to serve them.”
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