David Lee Cote, a U.S. Army National Guard veteran, was killed in Ukraine on Oct. 1 by a Russian drone. He served in the Michigan Army National Guard from 2008 to 2014 and had been drawn to fight in Ukraine against Russian forces. Cote had experienced challenges upon returning from his Iraq deployment but found a renewed sense of purpose in Ukraine.
- David Lee Cote served in the Michigan Army National Guard from 2008 to 2014 and deployed to Iraq between September 2010 and September 2011.
- Cote traveled to Ukraine in June 2022 and engaged in battles, including around Bakhmut, a significant conflict site between Ukrainian and Russian troops.
- Cote had faced personal challenges after returning from Iraq, but the Ukraine conflict provided him a newfound sense of mission.
- Shortly before his death, Cote sustained a leg or ankle injury, recuperated in Kyiv, but felt compelled to return to the front, where he was killed by a Russian drone strike.
- Approximately 30 U.S. military veterans have died in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022; the State Department does not have an official count of American casualties in the conflict.