Mercer University College of Professional Advancement student Kellye Garrett, a member of the 178th Military Police Company of the Georgia National Guard, has been called to assist with the decontamination of assisted living facilities and nursing homes in response to COVID-19.
Garrett’s Mercer journey started in March. She is studying criminal justice and plans to pursue a career in paralegalism.
Garrett is currently in her second round with the Georgia National Guard, having previously served for eight years as military police and a combat medic. In 2017, she left to have her son and returned in 2019.
Garrett said she felt like she lost a piece of herself during her hiatus.
“I rejoined because I felt it was my duty, my calling to not only myself but also to my son and family,” she said.
Garrett and her team work extensively to keep facilities safe for residents and staff. Using a nontoxic solution, they are tasked with cleaning hard surfaces and common areas inside the homes. Her team has successfully decontaminated 12 facilities between March 30 and mid-April.
Garrett said the work is tedious but rewarding.
“It is humbling,” she said. “We go into these facilities where the residents haven’t seen their families since the start of the pandemic, and they are so thankful and appreciative and happy to see us. The staff, as well, are so grateful. I know decontaminating these facilities is helping to put them closer to seeing their families soon.”
Photo: As a member of the Georgia National Guard, Kellye Garrett, kneeling and second from left, assists with the decontamination of assisted living facilities and nursing homes in response to COVID-19.