RN salutes fellow veteran who died from COVID-19 at Manatee Memorial Hospital

RN and retired USAF flight nurse Marc Kagan salutes fellow veteran who died from COVID-19.

A registered nurse at Manatee Memorial Hospital paid tribute to a fellow veteran who passed away from COVID-19. 

Marc Kagan, a retired officer and US Air Force flight nurse, now works as a cath lab RN and scans personnel going in and out of the hospital's COVID-19 unit.

When he heard a veteran at the hospital lost their battle with the novel coronavirus, he wanted to honor his fellow servicemember.

Manatee Memorial Hospital posted a photo on Facebook of Kagan saluting the body of the veteran who passed away.

RELATED: More than 25% of Manatee's COVID-19 cases are residents of long-term care facilities

"My heart was broken and saddened when a veteran lost his life to this deadly virus," Kagan was quoted on the hospital's Facebook page. "He didn’t get the military send-off with a flag over his brave body. It was... my duty and honor to salute this brave American.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs reports 5,534 patients who have been or are being treated for COVID-19 at VA facilities; 339 veterans have died while in care at VA hospitals. It is not known how many veterans, in total, have been diagnosed or died from COVID-19 in the U.S.

In the Bay Area, at the Bay Pines VA in Pinellas County, there have been 13 positive COVID-19 tests and no deaths. 

In Hillsborough County, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital there have been 11 positive tests and three deaths attributed to COVID-19.