FORT KNOX, Ky., –
As America battles COVID-19, one local Mission Support Battalion Soldier is paying it forward by leveraging his Army training and experience as a volunteer at the Elizabethtown (Kentucky) Community Health Clinic.
Staff Sgt. Ethan Harbison balances being an active-duty Soldier, husband and father to three boys with work at the clinic, which provides care to patients who normally can’t afford treatment.
“I don’t volunteer for the recognition; I volunteer because it’s the right thing to do,” Harbison said. “I’m a skilled and trained medic and am happy to be able to help others.”
Harbison joined the U.S. Army in 2012 as a combat medic. He spent the majority of his military career in the medical field until he arrived at his current assignment here.
Harbison currently serves as a platoon sergeant for the Mobile Exhibit Company, which is part of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Marketing & Engagement Brigade. He leads 19 noncommissioned officers as they set up exhibits at conventions, fairs and events in support of Army recruiters throughout the country. It’s a mission that Mobile Exhibit Company Soldiers love, Harbison said.
Normally, MEC Soldiers stay on the road up to 300 days a year as they connect America with America’s Army. However, that mission is on hold, and MEC Soldiers are unable to travel during the pandemic, so Harbison and others are finding ways to give back to their communities.
In fact, since his arrival to Fort Knox in 2017, Harbison has made it his mission to give back. He began looking for volunteer work through the local Red Cross and eventually found his way to the Elizabethtown Community Health Clinic.
The clinic is run by volunteers and staffed by licensed medical representatives who donate their skills, time and services to help in keeping their community healthy. Harbison volunteers at least one day a week, assisting with organizing supplies, taking vitals, and sometimes just being there to greet the patients as they arrive.
“Being able to give back to those that support the military is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Harbison said. “At my prior duty station, there simply wasn’t the time, yet since I’ve been at Fort Knox, I’ve tried to make time to not only continue assisting as a medical professional but volunteer my time to helping those who need it most.”