September 01, 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 to be at half-staff at all State of Illinois facilities in honor of a U.S. Marine killed last month in the war in Afghanistan.

Flags are to be flown at half-staff beginning immediately, Wednesday, Sept. 1, until sunset, Friday, Sept. 3, in honor of Lance Corporal Robert J. “R.J” Newton.

Reports indicate that Newton, 21, of Creve Coeur, died Aug. 23, from enemy small-arms fire while on foot patrol in support of combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Reports say Newton joined the military shortly after his graduation from East Peoria High School in 2007. He was on his second deployment -- his first to Afghanistan. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008.

He was assigned to India Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.