EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- Around 50 soldiers from the 1844 Transportation Company in East St. Louis were activated for COVID-19 response Thursday afternoon.

The unit will be deployed to Central Illinois to help distribute medical supplies from different warehouses.

“These soldiers are your neighbors, they’re your coworkers, they are people like you are, and they want to do that little bit extra,” Sgt. First Class Erica Clark said. "They made a commitment and they’re out here to help."

Clark said she has had her fair share of activations in her 20 years with the Illinois National Guard, from ice storms to floods.

This time it’s not weather related.

“A little different but we’re out here to help," Clark said.

Another six service members were activated to work at the State Emergency Operations Center to help with communications and to analyze COVID-19 response operations.

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