Fresenius Kidney Care thanks National Guard for help

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Thirty National Guardsmen who have been called up to help with staffing shortages at Monroe Community Hospital were honored Friday night with a surprise Christmas Eve dinner.

Most of these National Guardsmen on the campus of Monroe Community Hospital are a long way from home and spending Christmas Day without seeing their families.

One by one, members of the National Guard who are helping to provide medical care, assisting Monroe Community Hospital nurses, or cooking for residents here all stopped by one of the hospital’s waiting rooms to pick up some holiday dinner.

Christine Rozek, a Biomedical Technician at Fresenius Kidney Care organized the event.

"I think it’s incredible," Rozek said. "They’ve all left their lives. Deserted their jobs, their families to come here."

Rozek isn’t doing this for just total strangers. Her son Timothy is also a National Guardsmen called up to provide support at the hospital. News10NBC was not allowed to talk to them, but Rozek shared this with us.

"He was happy I think. You know mom always goes a little bit overboard so that was a thing, but he is grateful. They all are you know, They’re just happy to have a hot meal," Rozek said.

Her husband Michael cooked the dinner that included prime rib, carrots and peas, and potatoes. He says support for these National Guardsmen was quite strong.

"The Penfield community, friends, social media really chipped in provided some gifts for the soldiers that you know they’re not going to have anything to open tomorrow. So it’s a small token from the Penfield community that really came together," Rozek said.

Fresenius Medical Care CEO Bill Valle happy that the National Guardsmen were able to step in when the hospital needed them most.

"So to have the guard come in, and just help out any way they can makes such a difference for the care teams, not only in our clinics but throughout the entire community. So we could be thankful enough for that," Valle said.

He went on to say that Fresenius Medical Care does employ more than 1,500 veterans at its facilities.