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Naval reservist from Duluth heading to Italy because of COVID-19

Updated: March 27, 2020 06:36 PM

When the navy called, he was ready. And Lt. Commander Roger Reinert is heading to Italy very soon, to help in this COVID-19 outbreak

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"I am anxious, since Italy is ground zero, and it seems like it's going to get worse before it gets better. But this is why I volunteered to wear this uniform," he told us on Friday.

He'll be serving as a public affairs officer, reporting to the commander of the 6th fleet. He's used those skills before, as a public affairs officer in Afghanistan. In Italy, he'll be helping other officers who are feeling overwhelmed.

"The intent is to stand up a crisis communication team, like we've seen working well here. It's putting out good information at the same time daily, so people can make informed decisions about their daily lives," Reinert explained.

Reinert told us America has 1000s of personnel and dependents in the area of real crisis, along with partner countries, like Italy, Spain, and Germany, who are struggling. And other partners in the Mediterranean, in the 6th fleet area.

In a Facebook post, he said he'll be in touch when he can. "We WILL get through this."

He's served as a state senator from Duluth and city councilor.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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