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Flags at half-staff Tuesday for Pvt. Joseph Blake

Aug. 27, 2006

KALAMAZOO--By order of Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. flags on all campuses of Western Michigan University and throughout Michigan will be lowered for one day, Tuesday, Aug. 29, in honor of Army Pvt. Joseph R. Blake, who died Aug. 17 while on active duty in Afghanistan.

Pvt. Blake, age 34, of Livonia, Mich., was killed when his platoon encountered enemy forces' small arms fire in Turkalay, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Flags should return to full-staff Wednesday, Aug. 30.

In December 2003, Gov. Granholm issued a proclamation requiring U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters to honor Michigan servicemen and servicewomen killed in the line of duty.

Michigan was among the earlier states to honor its fallen sons and daughters by lowering flags. Sixteen states now follow the practice, including Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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