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8th US service member dies of COVID-19

Folded flag resting on a headstone. (MaxPixel/Released/TNS)
October 01, 2020

The U.S. Army Reserve identified the eighth U.S. service member to die from COVID-19.

The service member was identified Thursday as Sgt. 1st Class Mike A. Markins, 48. Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Simon Flake confirmed Markins’ death in an emailed statement to American Military News.

Markins died on Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Baptist Health Hardin Hospital in Elizabethtown, Ky. He is the first U.S. service member to die from the coronavirus since the end of August.

Flake said Markins served honorably in the U.S. military for 27 years, starting with active duty in the U.S. Air Force from 1990 to 1997, before joining the Army Reserve in 2000 and serving with the reserve until the time of his death.

According to his service record, Markins also served as a full-time civilian employee of the Army Reserve as a Military Technician since 2001. His last position in the Army Reserve was as a Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor with the 100th Training Division (Leader Development), and in his work as a Military Technician, he served as a Heavy Mobile Equipment Repairer with the 81st Readiness Division’s Equipment Concentration Site-63.

Markins’ decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Driver and Mechanic Badge, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, and the Air Force Longevity Service Award.

On Monday, the Pentagon had updated its records to reflect eight deaths among U.S. service members. Across the DOD, there have been an additional 59 deaths among civilian DOD employees, seven deaths among dependents and 22 deaths among defense contractors, for a total of 96 coronavirus deaths throughout the DOD.

The DOD has recorded 66,375 active coronavirus cases among service members, civilian employees, dependents and defense contractors. Service members account for 45,759 of the active coronavirus cases under the DOD. A total of 1,367 people under the DOD are currently hospitalized, including 618 service members. A total of 44,576 people under the DOD have recovered from coronavirus cases, including 30,756 service members.

Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Clifford R. Gooding, 58, from Gulfport, Fla. died on Aug. 28 after testing positive for the virus two months earlier on June 23.

Prior to Gooding’s death, a 36-year-old member of the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade of the California National Guard, died on Aug. 20 from coronavirus complications.

Army Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver was the fifth U.S. service member to die with coronavirus on Aug. 17.

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.

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

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.

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.