HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – On Wednesday, Governor Tate Reeves thanked the Mississippi National Guard at Camp Shelby for their efforts to get thousands of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state.

“Their efforts to get Mississippians vaccinated has been heroic, nothing short of heroic. I’m so proud of these men and woman and just so proud of these individuals, and I want to come here personally say thank you to each and every one of them,” said Reeves.

Members from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) also showed their appreciation.

“It’s wonderful. I think it’s great that he has supported the efforts, and we appreciate the National Guard and their involvement. We couldn’t have done anything on this level without their involvement,” said MSDH Regional Health Officer Dr. Christy Barnett.

Throughout the ceremony, members of the National Guard were presented with awards for their dedication and efforts during the COVID-19 mission.

“I’m glad I was able to assist with the vaccinations personnel. It was a great experience. I got to meet a lot of new people. I enjoyed it. I would do it all over again if I had to,” said Keiane Magee, a member of the National Guard.

“It feels great, because at first, I didn’t think it was such a big deal coming from deployment. It was great and having the governor pin me himself, it was a great feeling,” said Army Sergeant Alexus Caster.

The governor’s award tour will continue in Jackson on Friday, July 16, where he and other state leaders will present awards to the Mississippi National Guard at the Jackson Convention Center.