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107th Attack Wing veteran appreciates military support for healthcare workers

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020.  The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020. The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020.  The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020. The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020.  The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020. The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020.  The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

Members assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard Base, Vt. and 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y. fly over the city of Buffalo, N.Y. on May 12, 2020. The flyover was part of a Salute WNY exercise to show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Janker)

BUFFALO, N.Y. --

Retired Air Force Major Jeremy Essman, now Senior Director of Clinical Operations at Buffalo General Hospital, thanks military for supporting healthcare workers and discusses his time in the 107th Attack Wing.

“It’s really exciting when you see the military supporting the frontline workers here, because the frontline workers really support our military as well, and to see that given back to them is a wonderful thing”, said Essman.

Essman served the Air Force on both active duty and as a guardsman with 107th Attack Wing in Niagara Falls. Originally joining as Security Forces before he finished his medical education, Essman later transferred to the 107th Medical Group, as a Physician Assistant. “I think it was the best career decision I ever made” Essman adds, “I didn’t know what direction I was going in until I joined the military.”

Now Essman relates his time serving in the military directly to serving his community at Buffalo General Hospital. "It’s definitely busy, we’re starting to see the trend downward so that’s a good thing, but it really effected everyone’s way of life." He continues to explain severe impacts on the patients here, because the virus itself was nasty, and the patients were very sick, taking a toll on the staff as well.

“This team practices at least four times a year for emergency operations, I believe that really came to light”, said Essman. “When this emergency hit we were prepared and we moved quickly and worked as a team in here just as we do in the military.”

Buffalo General is one of many hospitals In Western New York being recognized for their hard work and efforts against the corona virus with a military fly over conducted by members of the 158th Fighter Wing, from the Vermont Air National Guard, and members of the 914th Air Refueling Wing, from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

"People are thrilled, we’re hoping we can free up enough staff to come out and take a look. It’s the talk of the town." Essman said.

Essman appreciates the skills and values he learned in the military. As Director of Operations he is responsible for several hundred people, Essman said, "I would not be as effective without my time in the military, allowing me to grow personally and gain experience as a leader.
“I just want to say thank you very much to the military, for coming out and doing this and showing the support to the hospital workers and we definitely thank the military for all they do as well”, said Essman.

Essman adds, reflecting back on his retirement just over a year ago, he still misses the military. “I see my uniform hanging there, I do miss it.”

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