Flags lowered Thursday for Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven

contact: Cara Barnes
| WMU News
Photo of Army Seargant Mark .


LANSING, Mich.—By order of Gov. Rick Snyder, flags on all campuses of Western Michigan University and throughout Michigan will be lowered to half-staff Thursday, Feb. 7, in honor of Army Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven, of Plainwell, Mich.

Schoonhoven, 38, died Jan. 20 at Brooke Army Medical Center in Houston, Texas from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device on Dec. 5, 2012, in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 32nd Transportation Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colo.

Schoonhoven attended Plainwell High School, and completed basic training at Fort Knox, KY after joining the Army in 2006. He served as a motor transport operator for the 32nd Transportation Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and previously served in the 82nd Airborne Division. Schoonhoven was serving his fifth tour of duty.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Winkel Funeral Home in Otsego. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Otsego.

Flags at half-staff

Former Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm issued a proclamation in 2003, requiring U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff throughout 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.

When flown at half-staff, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.