EVERETT — Health care workers at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett turned their heads to the blue sky Tuesday afternoon for a demonstration by the United States Army Golden Knights.
Ten members of the elite parachuting team landed in the parking lot of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett as a display of support for health care workers as they combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were honored,” said Kim Williams, chief executive for Providence Health and Services Northwest Washington. “Our caregivers have been on the frontline of the COVID pandemic since January, and for this recognition and the support shown by the U.S. Army and the Golden Knights it’s just so incredibly meaningful.”
Williams was awarded a baton and a plaque signed by the Golden Knights as a token of appreciation for the ongoing efforts of care providers at Providence.
Health care workers stood atop parking garages, buildings and grassy knolls vying for a better view. Others peeked from hospital windows in a brief moment of reprieve from their work.
Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Ries, from Tacoma, was one of the Golden Knights who participated in Tuesday’s jump.
“This is my area, this is my town, these are my folks, we are all in this together,” Ries said. “I wish there was more that we could do, honestly its just something to make them smile, give them a break from their day-to-day, hopefully just let them know that we are here and we are behind them.”
Ries made his first jump in Washington state last year during the Seafair Festival where the Golden Knights regularly make an appearance. The 2020 festival was canceled due to health concerns, but the demonstration team and the Seattle Army Recruiting Battalion decided the show must go on.
“Like any good folks do in the Army, we adapt and figure out how do we make this an opportunity that we capitalize on,” said Lt. Col. Lee Spencer Wallace, commander of the Seattle Army Recruiting Battalion.
The Golden Knights will make two more jumps in Washington, at Multicare Tacoma General Hospital at noon today and Thursday at noon at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
“Thanks from the bottom of my heart,” Wallace said. “All of the health care providers, it’s a noble profession, it comes with a heart of service and what they do for our citizens is just absolutely critical and vital, it is literally a life-or-death matter and I couldn’t thank them more.”
Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3448; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @IanDavisLeonard.
Ian Davis-Leonard reports on working class issues through Report for America, a national service program that places emerging journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. To support Ian’s work at The Daily Herald with a tax-deductible donation, go to www.heraldnet.com/support.