The Michigan National Guard is expanding its humanitarian mission to provide relief during the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Monday, President Trump approved the state’s request to use up to 3,000 troops for up 90 days to assist local agencies in need of help.
Sergeant First Class Andrew Kohtala is leading a small contingent of soldiers at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint. He believes their presence gives the staff a sense of security.
“We’ve basically been quarantined for the last couple of weeks,” Kohtala says. I think they just felt a lot better about bringing in a group like us that hasn’t really been out doing whatever. You know, we’ve been locked down on Fort Custer for the most part.”
Kohtala says the Michigan National Guard canceled his unit’s scheduled deployment to North Africa to assist with the growing crisis at home.