Senior Airman Jessica Nash: Speed Queen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing

Airmen and Soldiers of the New Hampshire National Guard's second pandemic response mission serve their last days on Joint Task Force Winter Surge.

Senior Airman Jessica Nash, a member of bio environmental with the 157th Medical Group, is one of them.

Nash worked at Coos County Nursing Hospital, the northernmost site of the 36 hospitals and long term care facilities Guardsmen supported during JTF Winter Surge, just 1 mile from the Canadian border.

“They really welcomed me in,” she said. "It's been like being part of a big family."

Nash and her two other coworkers worked in the laundry room. They washed more than 1,000 pounds of clothes and linens every day. She collected the laundry, folded the ever-growing mountain of fabric and returned the color coded bins back to the residents.

The environmental services director at Coos County Nursing Hospital, Lisa Young, said the nursing home has immensely appreciated the New Hampshire National Guard’s help.

“Before she got here we were trying to fit the work of 200 additional man hours into normal work week schedules,” Young said. “It just would not have been feasible without Jessica and the other Guardsmen.”

Capt. Jacob Ricciotti, the officer in charge of the seacoast region for Joint Task Force Winter Surge, said Nash immediately volunteered to serve at the nursing hospital.

"Jessica’s been a hard worker no matter where she goes," he said. "But you can see the impact her help has made here. The staff have been so grateful."

Nash's many jobs kept her moving quickly in and out of the laundry room. Each time she reached into the massive washing machine, the Speed Queen label sat right above her head. It was a perfect fit.

Nash spent three months as part of the family at Coos County Nursing Home. She said making relationships with the staff and residents has been the most rewarding part of her time on the JTF.

“I know I’m helping the community and directly giving back here,” she said with the metallic hum of washers and dryers tumbling behind her. "I'm not sure what's next when I get off the orders but this was an amazing experience."