A New Jersey Army National Guardsman passed away on Saturday after tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Pentagon said in a statement.
The deceased was identified as Army Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, a physician assistant. He has been hospitalized since March 21 and is the first U.S. service member to die from COVID-19.
“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.”
“All of us in the National Guard are grateful for his service to our nation, as a citizen and as a Soldier”, said General Joseph L. Lengyel, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB).