World War II veteran dies from COVID-19

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 6:30 PM EDT
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A man who served his country and was injured in World War II has died from COVID-19.

William H. Miranda Jr., 96, from Boyd County, died over the weekend from complications to the virus, within days of testing positive.

"This is very, very dangerous and people need to start taking it serious," said Miranda's son, Richard.

Richard says his father was on Omaha Beach on D-Day, was injured, and later awarded two bronze stars for his service.

"He was my hero," Richard said. "I was very proud of him.

Richard says he wanted to share his father's story to make people realize how dangerous COVID-19 can be, as well as to make sure William didn't become just a number or statistic.

"I was watching the broadcast Monday and they said, 'A 96-year-old from Boyd County had passed away,' and I saw the story that you guys did on the guy who had become the fourth one in West Virginia, and he didn't want to be known as the fourth one and so I thought my dad needed to be known."

The last time Richard saw his dad was about a week before he passed, as William started showing symptoms a few days later and was isolated. Like many who succumb to the virus, William died without any family around.

"The thing I really want to stress to people around here is, please take this serious. You just don't know who has it."

As the Miranda family prepares to say their final goodbyes, Richard hopes his family's story makes families realize how precious life is.

"You better love the ones close to you. Because tomorrow, this thing could take them out."

As of Tuesday, 20 people in Boyd County have tested positive, and 467 have been tested. Two people have died.