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Gov. Branstad orders flags at half-staff today (Friday) to honor fallen Vietnam War airman

This news story was published on June 29, 2012.

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(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad is ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 29, 2012, until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 2, 2012 for Lt. Col. Dennis Eilers, originally of Tipton.

Eilers and his crew went missing when his plane was shot down in Laos in 1965. Eilers was listed as missing in action, until his status was changed to killed in action in 1977.

In April of this year, after further investigation, officials positively identified the crash site when a tooth was found from a fellow crew member of Eilers’. A memorial service will be held this Saturday.

The governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state. H.R. 692, signed in 2007, requires federal government agencies in the state to comply with the governor’s executive order that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces.

Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

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