New State Program Established to Present Flags Flown Half Staff to Family Members, Next of Kin

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 20, 2013) --- A new state program has been established that provides for flags that have flown at half staff in memorial of the death of a military service member by order of the Governor to be given to the member’s next of kin.

The Lt. Colonel Todd Clark Memorial Flag Presentment Program, created through legislation (A.8039) sponsored by Assemblymembers Patricia A. Fahy (D-Albany), John T. McDonald III (D-Cohoes), and Phillip G. Steck (D-Colonie), provides for all such flags to be offered to next to kin to demonstrate the appreciation of the State of New York for their service and sacrifice.

Lt. Colonel Clark was a 17-year veteran serving in the United States Army, who after multiple combat tours in the Middle East, was recently killed in service to the nation. Clark, who grew up locally, was a Class of 1990 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy and graduated from Texas A&M before entering military service.

Presently, flags flown at half-staff in honor of a fallen service member are retired after their initial use. The program will be at no additional cost to the state.

“I am incredibly honored to sponsor the creation of this program. This is only a small sign of our appreciation to Lt. Colonel Clark and all of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great country,” said Assemblymember Fahy.

“I am pleased to see the immediate and appropriate passage of this bill and I credit my colleague, Assemblymember Fahy for initiating this effort of which I was pleased to join. This effort to support the families who have lost a loved one serving our country is small compared to the largeness of the loss they have endured, but important none the less. It is my hope that this effort finds comfort with the families affected,” said Assemblymember McDonald.

“My thanks and respect to Lt. Colonel Clark for his dedication and service to our country. The Clark family and all families of fallen military service members deserve the opportunity to receive flags that were lowered to half staff by order of the Governor,” Assemblymember Steck said.