Traverse City Record-Eagle

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January 11, 2012

Flags to be lowered for TC airman Friday

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed that U.S. flags throughout the state should be lowered to half-staff in honor of U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Matthew “Matt” S. Schwartz on Friday, Jan. 13. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, died Jan. 5 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was an explosive ordnance disposal specialist assigned to the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron at F.E.Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

“Tech. Sgt. Schwartz paid the ultimate price in service to our country,” Snyder said. “All of Michigan honors this courageous young man and I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”

Schwartz was a 1996 graduate of Traverse City Central High School and served 12 years in the U.S. Air Force. He was on his sixth deployment.

His awards and decorations include: the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, three Bronze Stars with two oak leaf clusters and one V device (the final bronze star issued for heroism).

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, at Christ the King Catholic Church in Acme Township, Grand Traverse County.

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.

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