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Flags lowered Tuesday for Michigan man killed in Iraq

Dec. 3, 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, Tuesday, Dec. 5, in honor of Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class James D. Priestap, who died Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, from injuries sustained while on active duty in Iraq.

Sgt. Priestap, age 39, of Hardwood, Mich., died from injuries suffered when he came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during checkpoint operations in Baghdad. He was assigned to the 46th Military Police Company, Kingsford, Mich.

Flags should return to full-staff Wednesday, Dec. 6.

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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