New Hampshire Native on the Front Lines Against Ebola Outbreak | NECN
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New Hampshire Native on the Front Lines Against Ebola Outbreak

Brig. Gen. Peter Corey says troops are taking extreme precautions at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak

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    New Hampshire National Guardsman Brig. Gen. Peter Corey is one of thousands of U.S. troops in Africa to help stop the spread of the deadly disease. (Published Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014)

    A New Hampshire native is at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak, one of thousands of U.S. troops in Africa to help stop the spread of the deadly disease.

    New Hampshire National Guardsman Brig. Gen. Peter Corey is a University of New Hampshire ROTC graduate who has spent more than 20 years serving in the New Hampshire National Guard.

    Spokesman Lt. Col. Greg Heilshorn says Brig. Gen. Corey left for Liberia at the end of September as part of Operation United Assistance.

    "The size and scope of what they're dealing with is unprecedented we're talking international humanitarian crisis," Lt. Col. Heilshorn said.

    Brig. Gen. Corey is one of 3,000 U.S. troops that will go to West Africa as part of the mission.

    "They've got personel working 24/7 through the day and through the night," Lt. Col. Heilshorn explained.

    He says the military is not involved in the direct treatment of patients.

    Brig. Gen. Corey is working with military engineers, contruction workers, and health care professionals to build 100-bed Ebola Treatment Units, or ETUs, at 17 sites in the region. They're also responsible for distributing personal protective gear in remote areas.

    "To get Ebola patients out of their homes and into an envirment where they can be treated," Lt. Col. Heilshorn said.

    In a statement, Brig. Gen. Corey said, "We believe this is a noble mission. The people in this region need external help. The US has a long history of coming to assististance in time of need. We brought a lot of resources in a short time span. People are working all hours of the day and night. We believe we will have a strong effect of combating this disease in this country."

    As Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Africa, Brig. Gen. Corey has deployed to West Africa several times before.

    "You can tell, it's more than just a job for him it's very personal," Lt. Col. Heilshorn said.

    Brig. Gen. Corey has also served in Iraq and Kuwait in 2010 and 2011, and while every mission has its risks, Lt. Col. Heilshorn says this one is different.

    "When you're in a combat situation, you have an idea of what the risk is, the enemy, something like this, it's in a way, all around you," Lt. Col. Heilshorn said. "I think it's especially noble of him to be a part of it."

    In an interview earlier this week, Brig. Gen. Corey said they're taking extreme precautions in Liberia. He said there are bleach solutions outside of every facility and they're not shaking hands anymore, instead using an elbow bump as a greeting.

    It is not yet clear when General Corey will be coming home. 

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