Flags lowered Thursday to honor downstate soldier

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff within the state Capitol Complex and at state buildings, grounds and facilities throughout Michigan in honor of Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven, of Fort Carson, Colo. and formerly of Plainwell, Mich., on Thursday, Feb. 7. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Friday, Feb. 8.


Sgt. Schoonhoven, 38, died Jan. 20, 2013 at Brooke Army Medical Center in Houston, Texas 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,” said Snyder. “We will forever remember the great sacrifice Sgt. Schoonhoven made in service to his country.”


Schoonhoven attended Plainwell High School, 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.


Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday at the Winkel Funeral Home in Otsego. The funeral service will be 11 a.m., Thursday at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Otsego.


This flag order is in accordance with Executive Order 2006-10, III.B.3. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.


When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.