Written by Sgt. Ange Desinor
13th Public Affairs Detachment
Monrovia, Liberia – Making sure Soldiers in Liberia fighting the Ebola virus are staying healthy is a top priority.
“Ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit,” said Sgt. Bethany Lose, a Lewistown, Pennsylvania, native and a combat medical health care specialist with 36th Engineer Brigade, to a Soldier as she checks his temperature, letting him know that it’s normal.
Lose and her medical team checks more than 750 Americans’ temperatures daily to make sure they are maintaining medical readiness and have no signs of the Ebola virus.
Lose enjoys her part in support of Operation United Assistance at the National Police Training Academy, Monrovia.
“When I found out that I was on the list to come here, I was very excited to support the troops on this mission,” said Lose, “and to be a part of something I don’t normally do on a day-to-day basis.”
When medics deploy, it’s either to Iraq or Afghanistan, said Lose.
“This is definitely different from any experience I’ve had in the military,” said Lose. “I’m glad I have the opportunity to be a part of something different.”
She feels that her job is important to the mission.
“I feel like we play a big part in prevention over here,” said Lose. “We have to look out for the Soldiers and making sure they’re applying proper equipment every day to prevent the spread of diseases.”
Soldiers have to take medicine to prevent Malaria, carry their hand sanitizer and apply bug repellent.
The medical team reminds the Soldiers daily the importance of hand washing and sanitizing.
“We are taking care of ourselves as well as looking out for the health and welfare of the patients that we see,” said Lose.
Lose feels grateful that people come to her specifically for medical care or advice.
“I think people are happy that there’s a big group of us here and are happy with the care that we provide,” said Lose. “A lot of people have come up to me after hours for basic medical treatment or medical advice. That makes me feel good that they trust me enough to come up to me during off times with their medical needs.”
To add to her responsibilities, Lose walks around and conducts spot checks, asking the Soldiers if they are OK.
Lose hasn’t been outside the base for medical mission, but she was able to see a medical evacuation rehearsal as part of training.
“I was there to watch it from beginning to end, to take notes and apply those tasks when needed,” said Lose.
She said they have upcoming training to continue to sharpen the skills of the medical team.
If a Soldier does have a high temperature, there are procedures in place to provide medical care, Lose said
Lose is very knowledgeable and a hard worker.
“Lose epitomizes professionalism,” said Maj. Retaunda Riley, an Ashmund, Georgia, native, and senior brigade physician assistance with the 36th Engineer Brigade. “I’ve never met a sergeant in my 21 years in the Army that has the knowledge base that this Soldier has.”
“An old sergeant major once told me you know what you think about a leader or Soldier if you would go to war with them,” said Riley. “I would go to war with her any day. I have worked with Sgt. Lose for several months now, and I’m impressed by the short amount of time that I worked with her. I rank her as one of the top five sergeants I’ve ever worked with in the medical field.”
Riley said the mission is awesome and it’s even better when she has a great team to work with.
Operation United Assistance is a Department of Defense operation in Liberia to provide logistics, training and engineering support to U.S. Agency for International Development-led efforts to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in western Africa.