(DES MOINES) Gov. Branstad is ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 13, until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 16, for Sgt. James Skalberg Jr., 25, originally of Emerson.
Sgt. Skalberg was killed in Afghanistan, while serving on active duty in the U.S. Army, on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 when an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle he was driving. He was one of two soldiers killed in the explosion.
The governor's directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state. H.R. 692, signed in 2007, requires federal government agencies in the state to comply with the governor's executive order that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces.
Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
Sgt. Skalberg is survived by his wife, Jessica Skalberg; his son, Carter Skalberg; his parents, James and Kelli Skalberg Sr.; sister, Spring Skalberg; and grandparents Bonnie and John Stephens and Karen Brewer.
Visitation for Sgt. Skalberg will be held from 4-8 p.m., Friday, July 13 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1101 Summit St., Red Oak, with the family present. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 14, also at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. A graveside service will follow at the Emerson Cemetery (directly west of Red Oak at the junction of Iowa Highways 34 and 59).
The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to the Carter Skalberg Education Fund, 705 E. Corning St., Red Oak, Iowa 51566.
The U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol on the day of the funeral will be presented to Sgt. Skalberg's family at a later date, along with a proclamation honoring him.