November 8, 2011
Gov. Nixon orders flags to half-staff in honor of fallen soldier from Benton County
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered that the U.S. and Missouri flags at state buildings in all 114 counties and the City of St. Louis be flown at half-staff on Nov. 10 to honor the bravery and sacrifice of First Sergeant Billy Joe Siercks. First Sergeant Siercks will be buried that day at Arlington National Cemetery.
First Sergeant Siercks, age 32, of Lincoln, was a soldier in the U.S. Army serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He died on Oct. 1 of wounds he sustained on Sept. 27, 2011, when insurgents attacked his unit using indirect fire in Logar, Afghanistan.
In addition to the flags statewide, Gov. Nixon has ordered that the U.S. and Missouri flags at all state buildings in Benton County be flown at half-staff from Nov. 12 to Nov. 17.
"First Sergeant Siercks served our country with bravery and dedication, and I ask all Missourians to remember his sacrifice when they see the lowered flags," Gov. Nixon said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they mourn for him."
First Sergeant Siercks was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal With Combat Distinguishing Device "V", Bronze Star Medal (2 awards), Purple Heart (2 awards), Army Commendation Medal (2 awards), Army Achievement Medal (3 awards), Army Good Conduct Medal (4 awards), National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal With Bronze Service Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal With Bronze Service Star (2 awards), Iraq Campaign Medal With Bronze Service Star (2 awards), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon (3 awards), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3 awards), NATO Medal (2 awards), Combat Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge (Bar, Weapon: Rifle (Inscription: Rifle), Expert), Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), and the Overseas Service Bar (5 awards).
A link to the proclamation can be found here.