Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office
Clarksville, TN – As COVID-19 Coronavirus started spreading across Tennessee in March 2020, Sgt. Zack Vredenburgh, a Clarksville resident and combat medic with Smyrna’s 208th Area Support Medical Company, knew his military training would be helpful during the coming pandemic.
So when Tennessee’s Adjutant General announced that Soldiers and Airmen were needed to support Tennessee’s Department of Health with testing and various other tasks, he was ready.
Part of the first wave of volunteers to help test his fellow Tennesseans for COVID-19 Coronavirus last year, Vredenburgh took a leave of absence from his civilian job to serve his state.
“I had a great job where I manufactured custom metal frames with, what we refer to as a plasma robot,” said Vredenburgh. “It can be programmed to make everything from oil rig parts to the iconic guitar seen at the Nashville Sounds Stadium.”
Since becoming a part of the Tennessee National Guard’s Medical Task Force, he has worked at five different testing sites around Middle Tennessee and a nursing home in Smyrna.
“In the last year, I estimate I’ve administered at least 10,000 COVID-19 tests. I’ve probably also given at least 10,000 vaccinations,” said Vredenburgh. “It has been incredibly rewarding to be out here every day knowing that I am making a difference.”
Currently, he is helping vaccinate Tennesseans at a drive-thru testing and vaccination center at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin. Since the Sumner County site opened, the staff have administered more than 700 vaccinations a day on average.
“My days are very full and can be incredibly busy,” said Vredenburgh. “I really like the face-to-face part of this job. I like talking to the people who go to the testing sites and I like knowing I’m helping make things better so we all can get back to normal.”
Vredenburgh comes from a long line of people who willing to help and a desire to make a difference. “My parents were on active duty and so were my grandfathers,” said Vredenburgh. “We traced our lineage back to the 1700s and discovered my ancestors were in the Revolutionary War.”