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Flags lowered Friday for Michigan man killed in Iraq

June 14, 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 for one day, Friday, June 15, in honor of Army Spc. Shawn D. Gajdos of Grand Rapids, Mich., who died June 6 from injuries sustained while on active duty in Iraq.

Spc. Gajdos, age 25, died from wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by insurgents using improvised explosive devices and small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

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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