ROCHESTER, Minn. - More Americans have now died from coronavirus than were killed during the Vietnam War. It's a startling comparison, and one some veterans say doesn't equate.
David Rude is the quarter master at VFW Post 1215 in Rochester. He also served in the Vietnam War.
He tells KIMT News 3 both coronavirus and combat deaths are considered tragic, but are two different things to him.
"Combat deaths actually do it because of putting yourself in harm's way," Rude said. "The coronavirus deaths, as tragic as they are, it's a virus. It's not the same as being in combat."
In this battle against the coronavirus, medical facilities are often referred to as the front lines. It's not the front lines veterans are used to, but still one requring courage.
"All of the essential workers are working knowing they are going to be exposed to the virus," Rude said. "I have no problem whatsoever calling them heroes, a little bit different context than a war veteran, but heroes just the same."