New Jersey National Guard
America has lost its first US service member due to the coronavirus. The Pentagon has identified 57-year-old Captain Douglas Linn Hickok from New Jersey, a proud, third generation military man who was passionate about serving his country. With 28 years of medical experience in the National Guard, Hickok served as a physician assistant and volunteered on the frontlines for multiple outreach efforts, combating this potentially deadly virus.
Hickok was expected to report March 21st and informed his chain of command that he wasn’t feeling well. He checked himself into a Pennsylvania hospital on March 19th where he tested positive for the coronavirus. He passed away seven days later.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement, according to Reuters:
“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. 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.”
As a college athlete, Hickok was inspired to pursue a career in sports medicine and eventually graduated from Cornell Medical School in New York City as a physician assistant specializing in orthopedic surgery. He is survived by his loving wife and four children who pleaded with people to take this pandemic seriously