THOMASVILLE — Flying several hundred feet above Archbold Memorial Hospital, two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack fighters saluted health care workers Friday afternoon.

Roaring across the hospital complex as dozens of Archbold staff and others came to see the planes, also affectionately known as “Warthogs,” the pilots continued on their flight path toward Tallahassee Medical Center. It was part of Moody Air Force Base’s 75th Fighter Squadron’s salute to health care professionals Friday.

And Archbold staff received the gesture warmly.

“We’re thrilled and honored they were able to include us,” said Jim Carter, Archbold Medical Center chief operating officer. “It was really about all the workers you saw coming out. All the clinical staff have been doing so much.”

Archbold Memorial Hospital and other facilities across the Archbold system have been laboring extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s been a challenging time,” Carter acknowledged, “but it’s been the most inspirational time to be a part of the health care community, to see people pulling together, being creative, putting patients first. It’s actually been a little motivational as part of the health care team to see what people are willing to do to take care of their community. I’m just really proud of everybody.”

While cheers went up for the two A-10s overheard, calls of thanks to the health care workers echoed across the Archbold parking lot after the planes disappeared from view.

“I appreciate the community coming out. I appreciate somebody yelling out, ‘thank you, hospital workers,’” Carter said. “I appreciated that very much.”

Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806.

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