October 04, 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. Army soldier killed last month in the war in Afghanistan.

Flags are to be flown at half-staff until sunset, Wednesday, Oct. 6, in honor of Lt. Colonel Robert F. Baldwin.

Reports say that Baldwin, 39, of New Boston, was one of nine soldiers, including two from Illinois, who died Sept. 21 in a helicopter crash during combat operations in Zabul Province, Afghanistan.

A major with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Baldwin was posthumously promoted to lieutenant colonel, according to reports.

Baldwin was a 1989 graduate of Sherrard High School, and graduated from Western Illinois University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology, according to reports. He joined the U.S. Army in 1994 after graduating from the university’s Reserve Officers Training Corps, or ROTC.

Baldwin served three tours of duty in Afghanistan and one tour of duty in Bosnia, according to reports.

Another Illinois native, Illinois National Guard Staff Sgt. Joshua D. Powell, also died in the crash.