U.S. Flags At Half-Staff Friday and Monday

American flags across Michigan will be flown at half-staff Friday and Monday to honor two young soldiers.

Governor Rick Snyder ordered U.S. flags throughout the state to be lowered to half-staff in honor of U.S. Army Private First Class Jackie Lee Diener II on Friday, Dec. 9. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Diener, 20, of Boyne City, died Nov. 21 in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York.

“This young man sacrificed his life to preserve our nation’s freedoms,” Snyder said. “His dedication and bravery will be remembered by his family, friends, community, and our entire state.”

Diener joined the Army in March of 2011 and arrived at Fort Drum in July. He served as a cavalry scout and had been deployed since September.

His awards and decorations include: the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat and Special Skills Badge Basic Marksmanship Qual Badge. He was awarded posthumously the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Action Medal.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Stackus Funeral Home in Boyne City.

And, on Monday, U.S. flags throughout the state to be lowered to half-staff in honor of U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Vincent J. Bell.

Bell, 28, of Detroit, died Nov. 30 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Camp Pendleton in California.

“Staff Sergeant Bell was a dedicated Marine who sacrificed his life to protect our country,” Snyder said. “On behalf of Michiganders, my wife Sue and I send our sincere condolences to his family, friends and community.”

Bell joined the Marines in 2001 and was serving his second deployment.

He was a two-time recipient of the Purple Heart, awarded twice the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Commendation, three Marine Corp Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, three Iraqi Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

There will be a wake on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the United Memorial Funeral Home in Mt. Clemens. The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 12, at the Renaissance Unity Church in Warren.