ATLANTA - A Georgia teen is making a big difference in the battle against COVID-19. Brandon Merck joined the Georgia National Guard right out of high school. Now, the 18-year-old is a combat medic and working on the front lines to fight the pandemic.
Army National Guard PFC Brandon Merck is the youngest combat medic in the 108th Cavalry. Shortly after completing his basic training, he was given orders to go to North Fulton Hospital to assist the medical teams.
"Combat medics are in demand. He's straight out of basic training, that's great when it come sot how well these soldiers are trained to be able to come right out and get after it. Combat medics are in high demand," said Lt. Col Chris Powell.
Private Merck's parents, who live in Canton, were well aware that the Georgia National Guard would be called up during the pandemic, and that meant their teenage son would be called up too.
"In the back of my mind I knew it was just a matter of time," said his dad, Andy Merck.
Andy and Enid Merck had complete faith in their son and the training he received in the Georgia National Guard.
"We trust that Brandon is going to step up to the plate and do what he needs to do with excellence," said his mother Enid Merck.
Private Merck had no time to ease into his role. On his second day, he assisted the medical team at North Fulton Hospital with a patient who came into the E-R in cardiac arrest. He said his training just kicked in for that and all the work he does with the coronavirus patients.
Lt. Col. Chris Powell says he's proud of PFC Merck and all the other guardsman who are not just flattening the curve, but crushing it.
"The leadership here has set a precedent about what it means to be activated in the time of a pandemic," said PFC Merck.
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