Former Duluth City Councilor Among Navy Reserves Deployed to Aid Italy

DULUTH, Minn.– Italy has been hit hard with the Coronavirus. The country has more 86,000 cases and about 9,000 deaths related to the pandemic.

Now, the US is sending military reserves overseas to lend a hand and a Duluth resident got the call.

While most are staying at home because of Coronavirus, former Minnesota state senator and Duluth city councilor, Roger Reinert, is traveling to the front lines.

Reinert was told yesterday by the navy that he will be sent to Italy as part of a crisis response team. Soon he will go with other reserves to a military base in Naples, Italy. They plan to meet with military members and other leaders in the region.

They are also there to help thousands of US sailors and their families in the country.

Reinert says he’s excited for the challenge ahead and the opportunity to help people during the pandemic.

“The reality is right now the staff that’s there overwhelmed,” said Reinert. “So it’s when those of us on the reserve side come, show up in uniform and say ‘How can we help?’”

This is the second trip Reinert has made for the navy reserves. Last year he spent 10 months in Afghanistan doing strategic communication for military forces stationed there.

He knows it’s a different kind of battle but Reinert says his past experience helped prepare him for his next mission. While it isn’t certain how long Reinert will be in Italy, he expects to be over there for the next couple of months.

Italy has been experiencing the pandemic longer than the US has. Reserves hope to help a country in need and learn how to slow the virus back home.

Reinert also says he is very thankful for all the support he’s been given from the community.

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