Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has ordered U.S. flags be lowered statewide to honor a 25-year-old Air Force officer who was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Flags are to be lowered Thursday for 1st Lt. Joel Gentz of Grass Lake, east of Jackson. He and three other airmen died in a June 9 crash after two Taliban rockets struck the aircraft.
The flag lowering coincides with a funeral service scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Chelsea. A private burial at Oak Grove East Cemetery in Chelsea will follow.
Gentz ran cross country at Chelsea High School, where he graduated in 2002. He received a bachelor's degree from Purdue University in aeronautical and astronautical engineering.
Gentz was part of the 58th Rescue Squadron from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.