Flags lowered for two Michigan men killed in Iraq
Jan. 4, 2009
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 Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 5-6, in honor of two Michigan servicemen who died Dec. 24 from injuries sustained when their armored vehicle plummeted into a canal after a bridge gave way in Baghdad, Iraq.
Monday, Jan. 5, flags will be lowered in honor of Army Staff Sgt. Christopher G. Smith, age 28 of Grand Rapids, a cannon crewmaster who was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
Tuesday, Jan. 6, flags will be lowered in honor of Army Spc. Stephen M. Okray, age 21 of St. Clair Shores, who was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org