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Flags lowered for Chief Petty Officer Paul Darga

Sept. 6, 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, Thursday, Sept. 7, in honor of Navy Chief Petty Officer Paul J. Darga, who died Aug. 22 while on active duty in Iraq.

Chief Petty Officer Darga, age 34, of Alpena, Mich., was killed in Al Anbar province, Iraq, when his bomb disposal team was struck by an improvised explosive device while responding to a previous strike. He was assigned to Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, serving with the 1st Marine Logistics Group.

Flags should return to full-staff Friday, Sept. 8.

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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