WARREN, Mich. (AP/WOOD) – Funeral services take place this week for two of three Michigan Marines killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash off the coast of Florida during a training mission earlier this month, but flags will not be lowered in their honor.
Staff Sergeants Marcus Bawol of Warren, Trevor Blaylock of Lake Orion and Andrew Seif of Holland were among seven Marines and four Army soldiers killed March 10 when the helicopter crashed along Florida’s Panhandle in a nighttime training exercise in dense fog.
According to our sister station WOOD, Gov. Rick Snyder decided not to order flags lowered to half staff for Bawol, Blaylock and Seif because they did not die overseas or in combat.
The governors of New Jersey, Louisiana and North Carolina – all of which lost service members in the crash – have ordered flags lowered.
Thursday, Snyder’s office defended the decision, saying flags won’t be lowered because of “protocol developed with the Michigan Department of Military Affairs.”
About 200 people attended the 26-year-old’s Bawol’s funeral Thursday at St. Louise de Marillac Church in Warren. He was a 2006 graduate of nearby Warren Mott High School.
A funeral for Blaylock is at 11 a.m. Saturday at Lake Orion United Methodist Church. Hundreds lined the streets Wednesday as his body was brought to a funeral home.
Funeral arrangements for Seif, a Silver Star recipient, have not been announced.