Two of the three Michigan Marines killed in the tragic Black Hawk helicopter crash off the coast of Florida will be buried this week.
But American flags will not be lowered in their honor in their home state of Michigan.
Staff Sergeants Marcus Bawol of Warren, Michigan, Trevor Blaylock of Lake Orion, Michigan and Andrew Seif of Holland, Michigan were among seven Marines and four Army soldiers killed March 10 during a training mission in thick fog.
Incredibly however, their ultimate sacrifices aren’t being properly respected because Michigan Governor Rick Snyder decided that, because they didn’t die overseas or in combat, flags shouldn’t be lowered to half staff.
The governors of New Jersey, Louisiana and North Carolina — states where the other fallen service members in the tragedy hailed from, all ordered flags to be lowered.
On Thursday, Rick Snyder’s office issued this statement:
“The crash that claimed the lives of the Marines, including three from Michigan, is a tragic loss for our country and our state. It’s another reminder that the men and women serving our country make tremendous sacrifices and put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us safe and protect our freedoms.
“The current Michigan flag protocols were developed with the Michigan Department of Military Affairs and call for flags to be lowered across the state when members of the armed forces are lost in combat.
“Gov. Snyder has been reaching out personally to the families of the three Marines to express his condolences on behalf of the entire state. We know the families are so proud of these Marines, and so are their entire communities. They are, unquestionably, heroes. Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif earned a Silver Star for his brave actions under enemy fire in Afghanistan, and will serve as an inspiration for many in the Holland area and beyond.”