Governor Orders Flags to Half Staff

El Paso, TX (KTSM) - Texas and United States flags will be flown at half-staff through sunset on Saturday, December 31st in honor of the two Texas National Guard members who were killed in a helicopter crash Wednesday.

The crash happened off of El Jardin Beach Wednesday afternoon after the Army National Guard Apache helicopter based at nearby Ellington Field crashed into the after off the coast.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dustin Lee Mortenson, 32 of League City and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lucas Maurice Lowe, 33, of Hardin, Texas were both killed in the crash.

"Working with Governor Abbott, we have ordered the flags at the Capitol be lowered to half-staff in honor of the sacrifice of the soldiers we lost yesterday." Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said in a prepared press statement. 

"The tragic accident in Galveston Bay is a reminder of the dangers our solders face everyday in order to protect our communities and our freedoms. We must always remember that freedom is not free and sometimes the ultimate price is paid."

At the order of the Governor, flags around the state are ordered to be lowered to half-staff immediately at the Capitol building and certain public buildings in Galveston, Harris and Liberty counties until Saturday.

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