By John McCoy

As 2021 moves forward, Americans are experiencing growing hopes of heightened immunity against the COVID-19 virus. With the expansion in availability to various vaccinations that protect against the virus, the infectious virus is seeing a decline in new cases.

Folkston native, Pfc. Cole Towne, is one of the many who are directly combatting the virus at vaccine sites. “I am third-generation military and fourth-generation first responder,” said Pfc. Towne, who transferred from the National Guard into his current role as a Combat Medic Specialist for the United States Army at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Throughout the years, I decided that I wanted to be a combat medic because I wanted to help people and I thought this would be the best way I could,” Pfc. Towne continued. “I lived by Fort Benning for a while and after interacting with military personnel, I decided this was the right path, especially given my family history in serving in both the military and emergency first response,” he said explaining the events leading to his fight against the spread of COVID-19 across the country from his home.

As a Combat Medic Specialist in the United States Army, Pfc. Towne has been working alongside countless others at a vaccination site at California State University Los Angeles that, as of March 22, 2021, has administered 214,896 COVID-19 vaccinations.

“From our perspective as the active duty component out here, what we do is run two vaccination operations on this site,” Public Affairs Officer Capt. Dan Parker stated. “We really manage the actual vaccination operations under the direction of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and our main role is to get the vaccines into arms,” Capt. Parker continued, explaining the nature of the whole operation.

Pfc. Towne, a 2011 graduate of Charlton County High School, is the son of Judi (Darren) Music and Don (Tiffany) Towne. He is the grandson of Gerald and the late Diane Tait and William and Gail Towne. He is married to Lindsay Allday and they have one son, Jack.

He and his family are currently stationed in Colorado, where his wife and son remain as he works to fight COVID-19.