Give us a task
and a purpose,
get it done.
We worked closely with her on land
use agreements and cooperation
between our soldiers and local
government agencies,” says Daub.
“Ms. Cooper was well prepared to
help her citizens recover from this
type of crisis. Previously, she worked
tirelessly to end the bloody civil
war in Liberia, the scars of which
are still visible a decade later.”
That cooperation was a force. Within weeks, Ebola was slowly relenting amid the
infrastructure built to combat it.
It’s March 2015, and Daub is sitting in her temporary office at Fort Bliss, Texas. She and several hundred soldiers arrived a few days ago after washing down all of their equipment and ships in Liberia in order to meet U.S. agriculture standards, and then
loading those ships with Humvees and the tents they lived in while away from their
families and children, a few of whom were born in their absence.
She and her troops are cordoned off from the rest of the military men, women and
families housed here with bright orange plastic barriers, typically used to keep snow
from drifting onto highways and roads. She will be here, barricaded with her troops
for 21 days to make sure no one shows any symptoms of the enemy they had spent
But even in quarantine, life isn’t so bad. There are workout facilities, offices, relatively
comfortable beds, even video games to pass the time. (Daub admits she’s spending a
good deal of time on Pinterest.) And if a soldier does spike that dreaded fever, he or she
will be quickly cared for with all of the quality and comforts of the American medical
system. But chances of that happening, says Daub, are incredibly small. Not with all the
precautions they took. Not with the training they had and passed on to the people of
Liberia. In fact, in 21 days, the soldiers will all be released without a single case.
But Daub isn’t there yet. For now, she’s sitting at Fort Bliss, and she’s ready to be home
with her husband and two sons, who at 13 and 16 are used to the fact that mom heads out
every once in a while with her other kids to keep people safe in one way or another. For
Daub, this mission was an incredible success. Just one day before she sat down in this
office to work, media reported that the last known Ebola patient in Liberia had been
discharged, though a few cases remain in other areas of West Africa. “Now as we prepare
to go home,” says Daub, “I can confidently tell each and every family that their soldiers
will return safely and that their military has made a difference.”
Col. Kimberly Parsons Daub ’89