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Flags lowered for two Michigan soldiers

May 23, 2007

KALAMAZOO--By order of Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. flags on all campuses of Western Michigan University and throughout Michigan will be lowered Thursday and Friday, May 24-25, in honor of two Michigan men who died while on active duty in Iraq.

Thursday, May 24, flags will be lowered to honor Army National Guard Sgt. Thomas G. Wright of Holly, Mich. Sgt. Wright, age 38, died May 14 from a non-combat related illness while serving in Balad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 46th Military Police Company, 210th Military Police Battalion, Kingsford, Mich.

Friday, May 25, flags will be lowered to honor Army Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya of Nashville, Mich. Pfc. Courneya, age 19, died May 12 from wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces in Al Taqa, Iraq. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

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. More than 20 states now follow the practice in some form, including Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

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

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