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Flags lowered for Chief Petty Officer Freiwald

Sept. 27, 2008

LANSING, Mich.--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, Monday, Sept. 29, in honor of Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Richard Freiwald of Armada, Mich., who died Sept. 12 in Afghanistan. He will be buried Monday in Arlington National Cemetery.

Freiwald, age 30, died from injuries sustained while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan on Sept. 11. He was temporarily forward deployed from his assignment at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Dam Neck, Va.

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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