September 25, 2008

Flags lowered to honor war casualties

Under a proclamation signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the United States flag and the Illinois flag are at half-staff at all State of Illinois facilities in honor of three Illinois men killed last week while serving in the military in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The flags are to be flown at half-staff until sunset, Friday, Sept. 26, in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jason A. Vazquez.

Reports indicate that Vazquez, 24, of Chicago, was killed Sept. 17 when the vehicle he was in rolled over a roadside bomb that detonated. Vazquez was also a member of the Illinois National Guard, enlisting in 2002. He deployed to Afghanistan just three weeks ago.

Flags are at half-staff until sunset, Saturday, Sept. 27, in honor of U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua W. Harris and U.S. Army Pfc. Leonard J. Gulczynski.

Reports indicate Harris, 21, of Oak Park, was killed Sept. 17, serving alongside Vazquez. A member of the Illinois National Guard, Harris joined the military in August 2005, prior to his high school graduation. Harris and Vazquez were assigned to Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery.

Gulczynski, 19, of Carol Stream, also died Sept. 17, from injuries received in a Humvee accident, according to reports. Gulczynski was posted as a gun turret and thrown from the vehicle in a head-on crash with a civilian vehicle. He was assigned to the 610th Engineer Support Company, 14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade.