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Flags lowered Monday for Spc. Robert Voakes Jr.

by Tonya Durlach

June 17, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of U.S. Army Spc. Robert L. Voakes Jr.
Spc. Robert L. Voakes Jr.
LANSING, Mich.--By order of Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. flags on all campuses of Western Michigan University and throughout Michigan will be lowered Monday, June 20, in honor of U.S. Army Spc. Robert L. Voakes Jr., of L'Anse, Mich., who died June 4 in Afghanistan's Laghman province.

Voakes, age 21, died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 793rd Military Police Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Voakes' awards and decorations include the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm issued a proclamation in December 2003, 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.