Saint John's Magazine Summer/Fall 2020

Page 21

Johnnies’ response to filled with

hope and inspiration By Frank Rajkowski

• Kaster is a perioperative (OR) nurse

in the Navy stationed in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was deployed to New York City aboard the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship that took anchor in New York Harbor in an effort to relieve pressure on the city’s overburdened medical facilities. His deployment meant leaving behind his wife and two young children, but he said his family was supportive as he fulfilled his duty. It marked the third deployment for Kaster, who has been on active duty in the Navy for 10 years. “While I feel guilty for not being home

to help with day-to-day things, I would feel worse for not being able to answer the nation’s call,” Kaster said via email. “I was/am very eager to help with this unique mission.” Tran said the toughest part of his experience was seeing loved ones separated from patients because of restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the virus. “Witnessing the pain that family members experience when told they cannot be with their loved ones is probably one of the hardest parts of my job,” he wrote, “something

I hope to never have to experience again in my professional career once the world we knew returns to normal.”

“We are all serving and fulfilling our duty to the patients,” Pease wrote. “It is certainly what we signed up for – our calling – and we love our jobs!” 19