First service member dies from the coronavirus

Army Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, a physician assistant & New Jersey National Guardsman has died from the coronavirus.
Photo credit New Jersey National Guard
By Connecting Vets

The first American service member has died from the coronavirus.

The Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Joseph L. Lengyel, identified the individual as Army Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, a physician assistant & New Jersey National Guardsman.

"As our nation fights its greatest challenge in recent memory, we're all going to need to draw on our inner strength & resilience to win this war & comfort those in pain. We must bring our best selves every day to overcome this as fast as possible for our great country," Lengyel said via Twitter Monday night. 

The Department of Defense says Hickok tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized since March 21.

Captain Douglas Hickok joined the New Jersey Army National Guard in 2010 as a Physician Assistant. At the time of his death, he had 28 years of medical experience in orthopedic care, acute care, employee health, and trauma surgery and medicine.

"Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member – active, reserve or Guard – to Coronavirus," said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. "This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community. The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Want to stay connected to all the stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.