FORT CARSON, Colo. (CBS4/AP) – About 100 Fort Carson soldiers deployed to West Africa in November to help build treatment facilities to house Ebola patients and caretakers are back home with their families now that their quarantine period has wrapped up.
The soldiers returned 21 days ago but had to undergo a “controlled monitoring period” before being reunited with their families.
They spent 21 days in a Washington in a controlled environment. Health care workers monitored and evaluated them daily to ensure there wasn’t a threat of Ebola being brought back to the states.
There are still another 50 soldiers in West Africa who will come home once they know there isn’t more of a need to provide aid to Liberia to help control Ebola.
“We made a difference. Our presence made them feel that they were secure,” said
Army Sgt. Maurice Watford.
The soldiers built treatment facilities and roads for Ebola victims in Liberia.
Staff Sgt. Adam Delorey said the impact was tremendous, “You can see it on the lives of the Liberian people. Actually, there were countless numbers of thank yous. They really appreciated the work we did over there and it felt good to do it.”
Before the group left Fort Carson they were trained on the precautions of Ebola, even shown how to suit up in protective gear should they need to use it. The soldiers never came in direct contact with patients but were armed with information.
“It was scary when we were first told but we had a lot of classes and a lot of experts came in and told us about it and it really got rid of some of the worry. No one was really scared after that,” said Private First Class Kenneth Riggs. “They really appreciated it. You could tell that the locals really liked us and were happy we were there.”