Cecilia Mendoza may look like any other nurse at Bellevue Hospital, but she's a commander in the U.S. Navy, who left her 12-year-old daughter and her husband back home in Los Angeles so she could help New Yorkers at their darkest hour.
Mendoza is part of the massive operation pieced together in a matter of weeks by every branch of the military.
The usual mission of the Joint Taskforce Civil Support is to respond to a nuclear attack on an American city. However, in this very different disaster, they took over the Javits Center in a matter of weeks.
During a Skype interview with Major General Bill Hall from inside the Javits Center, he said that his warriors are coming up alongside New Yorkers to get everyone back to business.
The military says it was planning for the worst when it built a 2,500 bed hospital at the Javits Center.
Commander Mendoza was among the doctors and nurses deployed to take care of people there, but then the need turned out to be elsewhere and Mendoza's orders changed.
Now, she's one of 535 military doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists deployed to more than 10 hospitals across the city. Mendoza has personally treated 50 patients in two weeks.
The commander says what touches her the most is each day at 7 p.m., everyone in the community comes out and starts clapping and cheering for the essential workers.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE
Grieving the lost: Tri-State residents who have died
New York state
Where are the testing centers
See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus
Share your coronavirus story with Eyewitness News
Stimulus check scams and other coronavirus hoaxes
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Total count of NYC COVID-19 cases based on patient address