SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Kevin Fuhrman, originally from Washington, says he joined the Air Force at 22 years old to travel and see the world.
“And I did,” Fuhrman said. “In 23 years I was at six different bases, we ended up here and retired out here. After retiring, I came to work for Willis-Knighton.”
He was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, RAF Bentwaters in England, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base in Texas and Lajes Field in Portugal before moving to northwest Louisiana to finish his service at Barksdale Air Force Base.
Since retiring from the Air Force and joining the Willis-Knighton Health System, Fuhrman had become the chief of operations for The Oaks of Louisiana in Shreveport. He says he has been at The Oaks for a decade, through it’s remodeling process and the construction that has brought the senior living community to where it is today.
Like so many other senior living communities, nursing homes and retirement communities across the country, The Oaks had to stop visitations for most of the year due to COVID-19. Fuhrman admits it has been hard.
“This has been tough,” Fuhrman said. “From the early spring when we first found out about this and nobody knew to what extent and every day seemed to be one step further and deeper to the point of having to inform family members that they were not able to come inside and see their loved ones.”
He says with the vaccinations that began at The Oaks Health Center Wednesday, Dec. 30, it’s a step in the right direction; one they have been looking forward to for a while.
On Wednesday, 30 Health Center employees, including Fuhrman, were vaccinated. The Oaks expects more vaccines within the coming weeks.
“Ironically with this vaccination, half of my career was in allergy and immunization,” Fuhrman said. “So from an early point of coming in the service, learning how to do immunizations and mass quantity flu shots for an entire base with 5,000 to 7,000 people and coordinating all of that I understand the challenge in what’s happening nationwide.”
He asks that everyone do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and take the vaccine when it becomes available to them.
“I encourage anyone who is on the fence to step up and take that shot,” Fuhrman said. “We wouldn’t be doing this unless it was something that was absolutely necessary in helping us turn a corner. To the family members of our residents, I encourage them to hang on.
“We are all in this together and we are taking care of their loves ones. They can drop off goods, they can still do window visits and Zoom. We are doing everything we can, shy of letting them back in the building, but we will as soon as we can.”