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Sophomore Richard Hoyt Serves in National Guard during Pandemic

Published on May 06, 2020

Sophomore Richard Hoyt Serves in National Guard during Pandemic

Richard Hoyt Eastern Connecticut State University sophomore Richard Hoyt is serving in the Army National Guard during the COVID-19 pandemic as a transportation coordinator at commodities warehouse in New Britain, where he is helping to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to medical facilities and first responders across the state.

Corporal Hoyt has served in several army operations, including a deployment in Poland where he managed transportation assets. No other mission, however, has been quite like serving in his home state during COVID-19.

“There’s a different energy with what we’re experiencing,” he said. “It’s so close to home.” Hoyt handles the logistics of distribution, monitoring the transportation and delivery of PPE. “The destinations are places you know,” he said, as opposed to the unfamiliar locales he served in Europe. “You’re helping people in your own community, (people and places) you’ve known your whole life.”

Hoyt has been working full-time on this operation for more than a month, in addition to being a full-time computer science major. “It’s hard work, the hours are long, busy and crazy, but you’re helping your community directly,” he said. “I’m willing to stay on it for as long as I can. I’m reluctant to leave at the end of the day. I want to make sure everything is set, that all the pieces of the puzzle are in order. I feel more driven to work because of how close this is to home.”

When Hoyt’s workday ends, his school day begins. He gets home between 5 and 6 p.m., walks his dog, has an evening coffee, then focuses on schoolwork. “I’m always in bed before midnight. On Saturdays I’ll do the work I had no energy for during the week,” he said, such as writing papers and reports.

“My professors completely understand,” he said of his online classes. “They give me what was covered during Zoom lessons.” Thankfully Hoyt has been able to keep Sundays to himself, spending time with his dog and playing video games.

When Hoyt’s current contract with the National Guard concludes, he plans to reclassify and get a job in cybersecurity. For his career, he’d like to mix computer science with transportation and pursue a job in civil engineering or cybersecurity.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Categories: Veterans