For the past several weeks, the Washington Redskins and select partners have supported the fight against COVID-19 by working with the Maryland Army National Guard to set up and operate a community screening station at FedExField.
The 115th Military Police Battalion recognized these efforts Friday during a ceremony inside the stadium, the Redskins announced via press release.
The Redskins and three team partners were formally honored for their assistance in the state's COVID-19 response efforts. Alongside the Redskins, Pepsi, USAA and FedEx were critical to ensuring success for the mission by providing much needed food, supplies and other items required for the testing operation.
"We want to thank the Washington Redskins for being a fantastic host for us at the FedExField testing site." Major General Timothy E. Gowen said. "It was great to partner with one of the most important agencies in the entire region. We appreciate all the help that they provided in our efforts to get people tested and combat this terrible disease."
Gowan said the screening site showed that not only is the Prince George's Department of Health focused on getting a handle on the virus, but that they also care about their citizens, especially those who normally would not have had a chance to be tested. Gowan added that by acquiring these tests, the county gained a better understanding of its people's needs amid the pandemic.
"They could get the people that needed hospitalization hospitalized, or get the people that needed to be quarantined, quarantined. And it also let the people know if they didn't have anything to worry about."
Gowan then acknowledged that this was a "step in the right direction," not only for Prince George's County but for the state of Maryland and the entire Washington Metropolitan Area.
"I want to thank the 115th Military Battalion of the Maryland Army National Guard for this generous and humbling recognition." Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder said in a press release. "The soldiers at the FedExField location along with all of our front line workers are the real heroes. Their courage and contributions to society during these trying times are an inspiration to us all as we continue to face this ongoing challenge."
The ceremony also recognized the soldiers of the 115th Military Police Battalion who supported Governor Larry Hogan's activation of the Maryland Army National Guard. The soldiers on-site received the Maryland Accommodation Medal, and select soldiers also received the Maryland Emergency Service Medal and Maryland Outstanding Unit Ribbon.
"It was an honor working with the Maryland Army National Guard in facilitating and operating the COVID-19 testing site at FedExField." said Washington Redskins Senior Vice President, Operations and Guest Experiences Chris Bloyer in a press release. "Working from the site gave me a firsthand look at the hard work and dedication that these men and women have for their community. It was an incredible experience and I want to thank the 115th Military Police Battalion for their hard work and in making a major impact in our community."
The ceremony included a changing of the commander of the 58th troop command, which is the Maryland Army National Guard's main organization that responds to state energies and includes some of its biggest battalions.
"We've had great leaders, and it's a chance today to have one leader go into his next position and hopefully get promoted to general officer, and the other one coming up and having a chance to lead one of our most important units," Gowan said