20.05.2022

Veteran Shares Heartbreaking Loss Of Brother, Fellow Veteran, To COVID-19

It’s upsetting to know that Cota spent his final weeks in a hospital by himself, the family never got to see him even when he was near death. The pandemic has made travel difficult and unsafe for the two veterans so they had not seen each other in a year.

A Colorado man who lost his brother to COVID-19 over the weekend wants to warn others about how dangerous the coronavirus can be and the importance to wear a mask to protect others. A veteran who has lost many loved ones, losing a sibling who is also a veteran the week the country thanks them for their service is especially painful.

“They are underestimating it only because if God says you’re going to get it, you will get it,” Luis Cota said while holding a mask. “And if you don’t have one of these, your chances are better.”

Cota has lived in Colorado since the 1970s while his brother, Frutos, lived in New Mexico. He was in a hospital in El Paso, Texas when he died from COVID-19. A car accident put him in the hospital, where his family thinks he contracted the virus.

“I just couldn’t see him over there because they wouldn’t let me in,” Cota told CBS4 on Tuesday. “Healing can come from the touch of your own brother and sister, but being lost and being alone is the worst type of dying there is.”

Cota shared some of his thoughts that will be read during the funeral for his brother. He talked about their memories, cooking together and camping. They also enjoyed fishing and hunting as siblings.

“The greatest loss is dying alone,” he said. “Don’t think this is B.S. It’s not. It is until it happens to you.”

Cota considers his brother, a U.S. Marine who served in the Korean war, the toughest man he knew. A veteran of the Navy during the Vietnam War, the surviving brother takes pride in their service and living in a community of military families.

He warns everyone that no matter how strong they think they are, they may not win against the coronavirus. He hopes others will be cautious and always use masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Cota has lost many loved ones in the past two years, but the inability to say goodbye to his brother makes his death different. The funeral will be on Veterans Day, but he will not be able to attend, he hopes to watch it remotely.

“I know he’ll be home now, with my parents, my brother, sisters, my son,” Cota said.

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