Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Directs Flags to Remain at Half-Staff in Honor of Kentucky Guardsman

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, December 13, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher has directed that flags at all state office buildings remain at half-staff in honor of Staff Sgt. Thomas W. Clemons, 37, of Falls of Rough in Grayson County.  Clemons died of a heart attack on Monday, December 11, while preparing to go on patrol with his team near Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq.

A member of the Kentucky Army Guard since August 2000, Clemons deployed in March 2006 to Iraq with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Armor.  Clemons' unit is providing force protection and security missions for the US Army.

“This is a terrible loss for the Kentucky Army National Guard.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow guardsmen of Staff Sgt. Clemons,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Every loss in a time as this is tragic.  Staff Sgt. Clemons served his country with honor and he will long be remembered for that.”

Flags are currently at half-staff in memory of Lance Cpl. Thomas P. Echols, a Kentucky Marine who died December 4 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.  Echols’ funeral will be held on Saturday, December 16.

Flags will remain at half-staff throughout the state until sunset on the day of Clemons’ funeral.  Arrangements have not yet been determined.