Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff at state buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout Michigan in honor of Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven of Plainwell, on Feb. 7.
Sgt. Schoonhoven, 38, died on Jan. 20 at Brooke Army Medical Center in Houston, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device on Dec. 15, 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 32nd Transportation Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colo.
“On behalf of the entire state, I extend heartfelt condolences to Sgt. Schoonhoven’s wife, Tammie, their six children, and his entire family during this difficult time,” Snyder said in a press release. “We will forever remember the great sacrifice Sgt. Schoonhoven made in service to his country.”
Schoonhoven attended Plainwell High School (near Kalamazoo), and completed basic training at Fort Knox, KY. after joining the U.S. Army in 2006. He served as a motor transport operator for the 32nd Transportation Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and previously served in the 82nd Airborne Division. Schoonhoven was serving his fifth tour of duty.
When flown at half-staff, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
Flags should be returned to full-staff on Feb. 8.