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NEWS | March 30, 2020

Local Navy recruiter produces face shields to fight against COVID-19

By Burrell Parmer Navy Recruiting District San Antonio Public Affairs

During the COVID-19 pandemic affecting so many across the country, a Sailor with Navy Recruiting District San Antonio is doing his part to help stop the spread.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Elias Grey, a recruiter assigned to Navy Recruiting Station Midland, is producing 3D-printed face shields for civilian medical personnel during his off-duty time.

According to Grey, who is performing his recruiting duties virtually from his home, the shields are predominately for use by hospitals.

“Right now, I am producing shields for three local hospitals, to include Medical Center Hospital, Odessa Regional Medical Center and Midland Memorial Hospital,” said Grey.  “I am projecting before April 14, that I’ll be printing 100 face shields per day due to the influx of donations to purchase additional 3D printers and plastic to print with.”

Grey, whose last duty was with Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron 51 in Atsugi, Japan, has been assisted by his wife, Mariah, who helps him clean and assemble the face shields.

Grey said he has been a 3D printing enthusiast for the past two years.

“I love technology and the concept of printing a 3D object out of thin air,” Grey said. “As a Christian, I believe in serving others and setting the best example.”

Grey, who is part of the Facebook 3D-Printing community, which numbers in the tens of thousands, collaborated with others on how they could help provide supplies as hospitals began to have shortages of personal protective equipment.

Once the need is no longer needed, Grey will donate the 3D printers and materials procured through donations to local high schools and colleges in the Midland/Odessa area.

NRD San Antonio’s area of responsibility includes more than 34 Navy Recruiting Stations and Navy Officer Recruiting Stations spread throughout 144,000 square miles of Central and South Texas territory.