June 23, 2011 | WMU News
Backus, age 21, died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, New York. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Combat Medical Badge.
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm issued a proclamation in December 2003, 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 first states to honor its fallen sons and daughters by lowering flags.