July 23, 2010

Flags lowered to honor war casualty

Under a proclamation signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, the United States flag and the Illinois flag are at half-staff at all State of Illinois facilities in honor of a U.S. Marine Corps soldier killed last week while serving in the war in Afghanistan.

Flags are at half-staff beginning today, Friday, July 23, until sunset, Sunday, July 25, in honor of U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Justus S. Bartelt.

Reports indicate that Bartelt, 27, of Polo, died July 16, from injuries received while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was one of two Marines to die in the attack.

Reports say Bartelt was serving his third combat tour; he earlier served two tours in Iraq. Bartelt was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He graduated from Polo High School in 2001, and joined the Marines in June 2001.