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File photo. Flag at half-staff at Veterans Park.

(Publisher’s note: If you are like me and wonder why the flags are flying at half-staff today, here’s who they honor.)

Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Sgt. Kyle B. McClain, of Rochester Hills, on Thursday, Aug. 16. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Friday, Aug. 17.

McClain, 25, died Aug. 1 in Salim Aka, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1433rd Engineer Company of the 507th Engineer Battalion in the 177th Military Police Brigade in Kalamazoo, Mich. McClain was a solider in the Michigan National Guard.

“Sgt. McClain made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the freedoms we enjoy and the country he called home,” said Snyder in a press release. “I extend heartfelt condolences to Sgt. McClain’s wife, Lisa, his entire family and friends as we honor and remember this true American hero.”

McClain graduated from Rochester High School in 2005, and studied engineering at Ferris State University for two years before joining the U.S. Army National Guard. He was a combat engineer serving in Afghanistan, having already served tours of duty in Korea and Iraq.

He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously. His other awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “Mobilization” device, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 2, North Atlantic Treaty Organization – International Security Assistance Force Medal, Michigan Service Medal (Broadsword), Michigan State War on Terrorism Ribbon with “Mobilization” device, Michigan Outside United States Service Ribbon and the Expert Weapons Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar. He also received the Combat Action Badge posthumously.

McClain is survived by his wife, Lisa; his parents, Michael and Geraldine; and his sister, Kristyn.

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