Contact: Darlene Schlicher (615) 741-6336
(NASHVILLE), February 26, 2010 – Tennessee’s flag is flying at half-mast over the state capitol today in recognition of four of the state’s fallen heroes who lost their lives in service to their country. Public Chapter 169, sponsored by Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and approved by the legislature last year, requires that if members of the Tennessee National Guard die in the line of duty, the Governor shall proclaim a day or mourning in their honor and the names of the deceased members of the armed forces shall be recorded in the journal of the Senate and House of Representatives.
The State Senate stood in recognition of the soldiers on Wednesday. The new law also requires that flags be flown at half-mast to honor these soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice for their state and country.
“It is very appropriate that the state should lower the flag to half-mast in reverent respect for our fallen heroes,” said Senator Gresham, who is a retired Lt. Colonel in the United States Marine Corp. “My heart swelled with pride and appreciation for the sacrifice of these Tennesseans. I was also proud that I had a little part in insuring that they and their families received Tennessee’s recognition.”
The soldiers honored were:
Sergeant David Clay Prescott, Jr. of Murfreesboro; died February 4, 2010, in Hattiesburg, MS; served as a member of the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 2/278 Armored Cavalry Regiment
Staff Sergeant Michael Wayne Tinsley of Jackson; died February 10, 2010, in Hattiesburg, MS; served as a member of the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 1/278 Armored Cavalry Regiment
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Billie Jean Grinder of Gallatin; died February 21, 2010, near Mosul, Iraq; served as a member of the Tennessee National Guard’s 1-230 Air Cavalry Squadron
Captain Marcus Ray Alford of Knoxville; died February 21, 2010, near Mosul, Iraq; served as a member of the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 1-230 Air Cavalry Squadron
“As we mourn them, we are so proud of their service,” added Senator Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), who is Chairman of the Joint Select Committee on Veterans Affairs and who was co-sponsor of the bill. “They cared more about our freedom than their own lives and it is very appropriate that their service is recognized by the General Assembly and this state.”
The flag will be flown at half-staff over the Capitol until sunset.