08/15/2011: "Flags At Half-Staff Tuesday"
Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed all Washington state agency -and other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to do the same- lower their flags to half-staff Tuesday, Aug. 16th, in memory U.S. Army Sergeant Alexander J. Bennett of Tacoma. Bennett died Aug. 6th in Afghanistan when the helicopter he was in with 29 others crashed.
The 30 soldiers were killed in a helicopter downing in Afghanistan on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. The Pentagon on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011 identified the Americans as 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs, five Naval Special Warfare personnel who support the SEALs, three Air Force Special Operations personnel and an Army helicopter crew of five.
Three of the crew members, including Sergeant Bennett, aboard the downed Chinook were from the same Army reserve unit - Bravo Company, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment - based at New Century AirCenter in Gardner, Kan. Specialist Alexander Bennett, 23, couldn't wait to deploy again after returning from spending a year in Iraq in 2009. So the reservist moved on his own from the Tacoma, Wash., area to Overland Park, Kan., to join Bravo Company.
Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business Tuesday, or first thing Wednesday morning, Aug. 17th.
Congress amended the U.S. Flag Code to give governors the authority to lower flags when a state resident in the military is killed in the line of duty.