New Hampshire congressional candidate and Navy Reserve Capt. Lynne Blankenbeker is deploying in the fight against the coronavirus.
“I’m very proud to be part of helping my nation in this way. I consider it a privilege to be able to wear the uniform of the United States Navy, and this is exactly what we train for,” she said in an interview with Breitbart News on Monday evening.
“This is exactly why I’ve stayed in the Reserves for 34 years — having this ability to be able to bring the skills that I’ve been given for the greater good and our community and in this case our entire nation,” she added.
She announced Monday that she is deploying aboard a U.S. Navy hospital ship — likely the USNS Comfort, which is expected to deploy to New York City to help treat non-coronavirus patients so that civilian hospitals can handle the influx of coronavirus patients.
Blankenbeker serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an operating room nurse. As a captain, she also can serve in management and leadership roles aboard the ship. “I’ll wait and see to get on the ship to see where the need is,” she said.
She said beginning last week, her command began calling and asking questions, to get a sense of who could staff the 1,000-bed hospital ships, after President Trump directed the Navy to deploy the ships. All those willing and able were put on a volunteer list.
“I spent my entire life running toward the fight. That’s what we do and that’s what we train to do,” she said.
She said her family is less worried about her deploying in the coronavirus response effort than her previous deployments, which include Afghanistan and Desert Storm. “They’re actually not as worked up this time, because there will be no bombs coming our way,” she said.
She said while she’s on the ship, her “only focus” will be supporting the U.S. Navy and supporting the mission.
“I will put 100 percent focus on taking care of our patients that come on that ship, and supporting my shipmates and the mission. So for me, I will not be doing anything actively on my campaign,” she said.
However, she said her campaign team will continue to work on her behalf, and work with community leaders and constituents to help respond to the coronavirus crisis.
“When our community comes together, we can get through anything, and this crisis is no different,” she said. “I’m very confident that we’re going to rise above this and thrive as a nation, and I’m just proud and honored to be part of helping us get to that success quickly.”
Blankenbeker is running against Democrat incumbent Rep. Ann McLane Kuster in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District. She is also a Women for Trump advisory board member.