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Local teacher, member of Florida National Guard recognized for 'Faces of the Fight'

Sgt. Fredrick Harmon, is an 18-year veteran of Florida’s Army National Guard.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla — Sgt. Fredrick Harmon, is an 18-year veteran of Florida’s Army National Guard. He was just recognized as being one of their “Faces of the Fight” for his role in the fight against COVID-19. 

As a civilian, Harmon teaches fifth grade at Blanton Elementary School in Pinellas County.

He recalls, “I went into my classroom to gather materials for virtual teaching. And as I walked through my classroom door, I got the text message saying that we have been activated for support of the COVID-19 response.”

Harmon is currently in West Palm Beach providing logistical support for the Department of Health. He’s not doing the testing, but he is there to make sure the people getting tested move through the lanes in a safe manner. 

“I’ve seen a huge response with people trying to help each other. It’s been a community coming together and helping each other," Harmon said.

Harmon also says, “separation from your family is always difficult.”  But he talks with his wife and daughter daily. 

He is also missing his second family at Blanton Elementary School. 

He has a message for his fifth-grade students. 

“Mr. Harmon says hello.  He misses you immensely. I want you guys to keep up the good work, maintain your motivation and continue to strive for your goals in life.”  

Harmon has orders through the end of April. But he says his stay could always be extended. He wants people to know that the Florida National Guard is  “working hard to help everybody out. And we just want people to know that the support is here for them.”

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