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Flags lowered Tuesday for Michigan man killed in Iraq

June 18, 2007

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, June 19, in honor of Army National Guard Sgt. Matthew Soper of Jackson, Mich., who died June 6 from injuries sustained while on active duty in Iraq.

Sgt. Soper, age 25, died from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1461st Transportation Company (Combat Heavy Equipment), Michigan Army National Guard, Jackson, Mich.

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. More than 20 states now follow the practice in some form, including Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

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

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