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5th US service member dies of coronavirus

Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver. (U.S. Army photo/Released)
August 21, 2020

A soldier with the U.S. Army Reserve died on Monday from complications following his coronavirus diagnosis.

Army Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver died in a Largo, Fla. on Monday, more than a month after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Command said in a statement emailed to American Military News. The 46-year-old soldier was the fifth U.S. service member to die with COVID-19 during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Tolliver served in the U.S. Army for 25 years and with the Army Reserve for 13 years. He served as the paralegal for the Army Reserve Medical Center in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Tolliver’s decorations included the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal with two Bronze Loops, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Silver Hour Glass and Mobilization Device, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 4, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon with numeral 4, Army Superior Unit Award, and the Basic Army Instructor Badge.

“We feel a tremendous loss in our military family with the passing of Master Sgt. Tolliver,” said Maj. Gen. Jonathan Woodson, the commander of Army Reserve Medical Command. “COVID-19 has taken a dedicated Soldier from our formation, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Tolliver is survived by his three children, who reside in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Master Sgt. Tolliver was a tremendous mentor, leader, Soldier, and one of the finest human beings I have ever met,” said Tolliver’s immediate supervisor, Lt. Col. T. Scott Randall. “He will be sorely missed by all.”

New Jersey National Guard Capt. Douglas Linn Hickock, 57 was the first U.S. service member to die with coronavirus, COVID-19, on March 28.

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, a U.S. Navy sailor aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was the second service member to die with coronavirus on April 13.

The third and fourth U.S. service members to die after being diagnosed with coronavirus were both Army Reserve members, like Tolliver.

Army Reserve Sgt. Simon Zamudio, 34, was the third U.S. service member to die with the virus, on May 22.

Army Reserve Spc. Curtis Lamar Fort, 61, another Army Reserve member, also died of coronavirus-related complications on July 30. He was the fourth U.S. service member to die with the virus.

The cumulative number of coronavirus cases across the U.S. Department of Defense, including military members and their families, civilian employees and defense contractors, currently stands at 51,238. Military components have seen 35,412 cases, of which 19,901 have recovered, 549 are currently hospitalized and five have died.

There have been 49 coronavirus deaths among civilian DOD employees, 16 among DOD contractors and seven among dependants.

As a whole, the U.S. has recorded over 5.5 million coronavirus cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus case tracking website. Around 174,000 U.S. cases have been fatal. The case fatality rate for the U.S. stands at around 3.1 percent. The case fatality rate across the entire DOD is .15 percent and .014 among military service members.