Coronavirus kills Reserve sailor and National Guard airman
Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.
WASHINGTON— Two more service members have died from the coronavirus, bringing the number of deaths to 17 as military cases surpass 130,000, according to the Pentagon.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Abdigafar Salad Warsame, 52, was a Navy Reserve logistics specialist assigned to Navy Operational Support Center in Columbus, Ohio, when he died Jan. 8 at a local hospital due to complications associated with the coronavirus, Cmdr. Ben Tisdale, a Navy Reserve Force spokesman, said in a statement Thursday.
The other service member who died from the virus was a member of the New York Air National Guard, according to the Pentagon. Due to the wishes of the airman's family, the Guard will not release any information about the service member, said Eric Durr, a spokesman with the New York National Guard.
As of Wednesday, six National Guard members have died from the virus, two Navy reservists and six Army reservists. Three active-duty service members have also died of the virus since the pandemic began in March, according to the Pentagon.
Warsame was born in Somalia and then lived in Georgia until he enlisted in the Navy in March of 2002, according to his service record and his Facebook page. He was assigned to the Naval Reserve Defense Innovation Unit in Atlanta, Ga., from 2005 to 2010. He then worked at the Naval Reserve Fleet Logistics Center Bahrain Headquarters in Kearny, N.J., from 2010 to 2019. He was most recently assigned to the Naval Reserve Defense Logistics Agency logistics assistance team in Columbus, Ohio.
His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Armed Forces Reserve Medals, four Good Conduct Medals, and four Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medals.
As of Wednesday, the Navy has had 27,187 cases of the coronavirus and the National Guard has had 16,759. The military overall has had 130,484 cases, 1,277 personnel hospitalized, and 83,196 who have recovered, according to the Pentagon.
The Army has had 46,174 cases of the virus, the Air Force has had 23,425 cases, and the Marine Corps has had 16,046, according to the Pentagon.
The United States has had more than 24 million cases of the coronavirus and 407,111 people in the country have died from the disease as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.