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Flags lowered Friday for Sgt. Gabriel DeRoo

Sept. 13, 2006

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, Sept. 15, in honor of Army Sgt. Gabriel G. DeRoo, who died Aug. 20 from injuries sustained while on active duty in Iraq.

Sgt. DeRoo, age 25, of Paw Paw, Mich., died from injuries suffered when he encountered enemy forces using small arms fire in Mosul, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis,Wash.

A 1999 graduate of Grace Christian School in Watervliet, Mich., DeRoo attended community college before enlisting in the Army in January 2003. Among other military honors, he earned the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal. He is survived by his wife of two years, Hannah DeRoo, and an infant son, among others.

Flags should return to full-staff Saturday, Sept. 16.

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. Sixteen states now follow the practice, including Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

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

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