LANSING, Mich.--By order of Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. flags on all campuses of Western Michigan University and throughout Michigan will be lowered Friday, Jan. 13, in honor of U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, of Traverse City, Mich., who died Jan. 5 while on active duty in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
Schwartz, age 34, died of wounds he suffered when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was an explosive ordnance disposal specialist assigned to the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron at Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.
Schwartz was a 1996 graduate of Traverse City Central High School and served 12 years in the U.S. Air Force. He was on his sixth deployment. His awards and decorations include: the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, and three Bronze Stars with two oak leaf clusters and a Valor device issued for heroism.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Christ the King Catholic Church in Acme Township, Grand Traverse County, Mich.
Former Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm issued a proclamation in 2003, requiring U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff throughout Michigan and on Michigan waters to honor Michigan servicemen and servicewomen killed in the line of duty. Michigan was among the first states to honor its fallen sons and daughters by lowering flags.