Donald Reed Herring, the oldest brother of Sen. Elizabeth Warren has passed away due to complications from coronavirus, the senator confirmed.
He was 86 years old.
“My oldest brother, Don Reed, died from the coronavirus on Tuesday evening,” Warren (D-Mass.) wrote in the first of a series of tweets Thursday.
The Massachusetts Democrat said her brother “joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including five and a half years off and on in combat in Vietnam.”
She went on to describe him as “charming and funny, a natural leader.”
“What made him extra special was his smile—quick and crooked, it always seemed to generate its own light, one that lit up everyone around him.
“I’m grateful to the nurses and frontline staff who took care of him, but it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say ‘I love you’ one more time—and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close. I’ll miss you dearly my brother,” she closed.
Reed died in Norman, Oklahoma, about three weeks after testing positive for the virus, according to The Boston Globe.
Herring flew B-47 and B-52 bombers for the Air Force. He also flew 288 combat missions in Vietnam. He served as a B-52 squadron pilot and a squadron aircraft commander and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1973, the paper reports.
Herring was featured in a campaign ad for the Democratic presidential hopeful during her run.
All four siblings were featured together in the 2 and a half minute spot — with two of the brothers admitting to identifying as Republicans while still supporting their sister’s bid.
As the four drink beer and look through old pictures, Warren finds the oldest Herring’s birth announcement.
Two of her fellow 2020 Democrats, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), expressed their condolences at the news of Herring’s death.
“Heartbreaking. @ewarren, you spoke so highly about Don on the campaign trail. Sending our condolences, prayers, and thoughts to you and the entire @TeamWarren family,” Harris wrote on Twitter.
“My heart goes out to my friend @ewarren & her family for the loss of their brother. It’s heartbreaking to see so many families that are affected by this virus — families that can’t hold their loved one’s hand & say goodbye to them. May he rest in peace,” Klobuchar said in a post on the platform.