PA Governor Rendell Issues Statement on Loss of PA National Guardsmen

Orders Flags Flown at Half Staff Until Oct. 30



30 Sep, 2005, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell
 issued the following statement today regarding the eight brave servicemen
 killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq the last two weeks:
 
     "I have been deeply saddened to learn five heroic Pennsylvania National
 Guardsmen lost their lives Wednesday in Iraq. Once again, the commonwealth
 finds itself in the midst of mourning as we remember the sacrifices of our
 native sons. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with the families at this
 time of sorrow.
     "In remembrance of the eight soldiers killed in Iraq over the last two
 weeks, I am ordering state flags be lowered to half staff beginning today
 through Oct. 30.  I would also ask all state employees to join me Monday, Oct.
 3, in observing a moment of silence at noon as a sign of respect to these
 fallen heroes.
     "The last two months have been particularly difficult as Pennsylvania has
 suffered the unparalleled loss of 15 National Guardsmen.  Nineteen
 Pennsylvania National Guard members have been killed in action since the
 beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  And, for the first time, I mourn the
 losses as both the commander in chief of our National Guard and as the
 employer of a soldier.  This week, state employees lost our first colleague to
 the war in Iraq.
     "All Pennsylvanians join the First Lady and I as we mourn these losses and
 remember the sacrifice of these brave men."
 
     The five soldiers killed in the Wednesday attack near Ramadi, Iraq, were
 Staff Sgt. Daniel L. Arnold, 27, Montrose, Headquarters-Headquarters Company,
 1-109th Infantry; and Staff Sgt. George A. Pugliese, 39, Carbondale; Spc. Lee
 A. Wiegand, 20, Hallstead; Spc. Eric W. Slebodnik, 21, Carbondale; and Spc.
 Oliver J. Brown, 19, Athens, all of C -Company, 1-109th Infantry (Mechanized).
     On Sept. 19, Spc. William Evans, 22, Hallstead, Susquehanna County; Sgt.
 Michael Egan, 36, Philadelphia; Spc. William Fernandez, 37, Reading, Berks
 County, were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on routine
 patrol in Iraq.
     There are currently more than 3,200 Pennsylvania Guard troops stationed in
 Iraq.
 
      CONTACT:
      Kate Philips
      717-783-1116
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
    HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell
 issued the following statement today regarding the eight brave servicemen
 killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq the last two weeks:
 
     "I have been deeply saddened to learn five heroic Pennsylvania National
 Guardsmen lost their lives Wednesday in Iraq. Once again, the commonwealth
 finds itself in the midst of mourning as we remember the sacrifices of our
 native sons. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with the families at this
 time of sorrow.
     "In remembrance of the eight soldiers killed in Iraq over the last two
 weeks, I am ordering state flags be lowered to half staff beginning today
 through Oct. 30.  I would also ask all state employees to join me Monday, Oct.
 3, in observing a moment of silence at noon as a sign of respect to these
 fallen heroes.
     "The last two months have been particularly difficult as Pennsylvania has
 suffered the unparalleled loss of 15 National Guardsmen.  Nineteen
 Pennsylvania National Guard members have been killed in action since the
 beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  And, for the first time, I mourn the
 losses as both the commander in chief of our National Guard and as the
 employer of a soldier.  This week, state employees lost our first colleague to
 the war in Iraq.
     "All Pennsylvanians join the First Lady and I as we mourn these losses and
 remember the sacrifice of these brave men."
 
     The five soldiers killed in the Wednesday attack near Ramadi, Iraq, were
 Staff Sgt. Daniel L. Arnold, 27, Montrose, Headquarters-Headquarters Company,
 1-109th Infantry; and Staff Sgt. George A. Pugliese, 39, Carbondale; Spc. Lee
 A. Wiegand, 20, Hallstead; Spc. Eric W. Slebodnik, 21, Carbondale; and Spc.
 Oliver J. Brown, 19, Athens, all of C -Company, 1-109th Infantry (Mechanized).
     On Sept. 19, Spc. William Evans, 22, Hallstead, Susquehanna County; Sgt.
 Michael Egan, 36, Philadelphia; Spc. William Fernandez, 37, Reading, Berks
 County, were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on routine
 patrol in Iraq.
     There are currently more than 3,200 Pennsylvania Guard troops stationed in
 Iraq.
 
      CONTACT:
      Kate Philips
      717-783-1116
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor