Governor McDonnell Declares Aug. 12 a Day of Mourning for Virginia Servicemen Killed In Afghanistan Helicopter Tragedy
– Orders all State Flags to Fly at Half Staff Friday; Encourages Virginians to Also Fly Flags at Half Staff and Donate to Military Service Charities –
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today named Friday, Aug. 12 as a day of mourning for 30 servicemen who were killed when their helicopter went down in eastern Afghanistan last weekend. Many of the victims were reported to be Navy SEALs with ties to Virginia. As part of the day of mourning, the governor has ordered all state flags to be flown at half staff from dawn to dusk on Friday.
"While details surrounding the helicopter tragedy over the weekend are still being investigated, the human impact of the loss of these servicemen upon their families, their units, and the Virginia military community are profound," Governor McDonnell said. "It is with a heavy heart that I ask all Virginians to join me in a day of mourning and remembrance for those who lost their lives defending our country and to offer their support and thanks to the families and military community they left behind. While no show of gratitude can ever replace what was lost during this tragedy, it is in times like these that Virginians need to rally to offer the care and support that can make a difference in the lives of all those touched by the tragedy."
The governor called upon citizens who wish to show their support through monetary donations to organizations such as the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provide support and financial assistance above what the U.S. Department of Defense provides, particularly immediate financial support and tragedy assistance to families. Virginians can text SEAL to 90999 to donate $10 or go online to the organization's website (http://navysealfoundation.org) to make a donation. Listed below are additional support organizations for military families also affected by last weekend's tragedy.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Terrie Suit added, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the heroic warriors who selflessly gave their lives in service to our country this past weekend. I urge our citizens to consider making a donation, no matter how large or small, to help the family members left behind."
The mission of the Navy SEAL Foundation is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community and their families. The Navy SEAL Foundation has three core areas of support: supporting families by easing their burden when an active-duty member of the NSW community is injured or killed in action; providing spouses and their children scholarship programs and other educational assistance; and, making sure that the extraordinary contributions made in defense of our freedoms by members of the NSW community are remembered.
Listed below are additional support organizations for military families also affected by last weekend's tragedy that Virginians are encouraged to assist:
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