Fort Irwin Community,
It is with great sadness that I must inform you that on Friday (Aug. 27), we lost a young healthy soldier in our ranks due to COVID-19. He was diagnosed earlier in the month, spent time in quarantine, was evacuated to Victor Valley Hospital, and then died on a ventilator despite the best efforts of great medical professionals.
Please continue with your thoughts and prayers for his family, friends, and fellow Soldiers who continue to struggle through this difficult time. What we do here matters! Everyone within our community is valued and needed.
Over the last 18 months, the pandemic has affected us all in one way or another. Masking, physical distancing, travel restrictions, the endless safeguards, that we all endured, were implemented for the safety of all. Their purpose was to prevent serious illness and death; to provide a measure of safety within our community, and to allow for the continuation of our mission.
Before Aug. 27, these measures were largely successful. Our safeguards and your vigilance resulted in improved conditions, fewer COVID-19 cases, and fewer restrictions. Losing our Soldier on Aug. 27 is the ultimate heartbreak. Let this serve as the ultimate reminder that the pandemic is still with us and that COVID-19 can strike our young and healthy population despite our safeguards and masking posture.
As we all mourn this tragic loss, continue your vigilance as you travel and conduct business here at home and within our region. For those who remain unvaccinated, consider making an appointment or participating in one of our many vaccine rodeos across the installation. The recent spike in COVID-19, to include the Delta variant, is largely among the unvaccinated. According to the CDC, the unvaccinated are about 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated.
We will continue to monitor conditions and implement safeguards and precautionary measures weekly, through my Yellow Hash. Unfortunately, this alone will not keep all in our community safe; particularly those who remain unvaccinated. Do your part in protecting yourselves, your families, and our community. Get the vaccine. #Taketehshot
Lead — Train — Win!