- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) - A journey that started as a medic in the military is taking one Elkhart veteran to Liberia to help the country battle its Ebola crisis.

Aaron Mishler, who was honorably discharged from the Army Reserves three months ago after serving three years as a nurse, was leaving Wednesday morning for Liberia. He will spend six weeks volunteering with Heart to Heart International at an Ebola clinic in the village of Tapeta.

Mishler recalled watching the news of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia go from bad to worse.

“Once it really started getting out of control … I realized that if I could help, I should try to,” he told The Elkhart Truth (https://bit.ly/1s4rmzs ).

Before transferring to the Army, Mishler had spent five years as a medic in the Indiana National Guard.

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” explained Mishler.

Growing up, it was his grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s that first pushed Mishler toward a career in medicine.

“Helping him, watching my mother and grandmother care for him … I always wished I could do more,” he said.

It was that drive to do more that led Mishler to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) website, where he applied to be a medical volunteer for the Ebola crisis. By Monday, he was running around filling out paperwork, getting immunizations and packing his bags.

At first, family and friends thought he was crazy.

“Once I explained why I wanted to go, they understood and supported me,” he said.

Mishler will spend his first two weeks training in Ebola and ETU (Ebola Treatment Unit) protocol before heading to the clinic.

“We’ll be doing triage to ascertain if people have Ebola and if they, do isolate and quarantine them,” he said.

Preparing to leave has been so hectic that Mishler hasn’t had a chance to be nervous about the risks, he said. Even so, he feels this is something he needs to do.

“If you want to make a difference, this is the place to do it right now,” he said.


Information from: The Elkhart Truth, https://www.elkharttruth.com

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