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Flags lowered Thursday for Sgt. Matthew Blaskowski

Oct. 2, 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, Thursday, Oct. 4, in honor of Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew D. Blaskowski of Levering, Mich., who died Sept. 23, while on active duty in Afghanistan.

Blaskowski, age 27, died in Asadabad, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

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 first 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, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

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

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