Providence, RI - To honor the memory of U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Luis Mendonca, a Rhode Island native who died Sunday, December 4, 2011, following an automobile accident near Binghamton, New York, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today ordered U.S. and Rhode Island flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff until Specialist Mendonca is laid to rest.
"In the course of his too-brief life, Specialist Mendonca demonstrated his commitment to his country and his love for his family through his courageous service," Governor Chafee said. "I was deeply saddened to learn of his untimely passing. On behalf of the people of Rhode Island, I wish his family and loved ones comfort in this difficult time."
Spc. Mendonca, 20, was serving on active duty, assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, U.S. Army. He was deployed to Afghanistan and at the time of his accident was on mid-tour leave.
Among Spc. Mendonca's awards were: the Army Commendation Medal (Posthumous); the Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous); the National Defense Service Medal; the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, 2; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the Army Service Ribbon; the Overseas Service Ribbon; the NATO Medal (Posthumous); the Combat Infantryman Badge; the Parachutist Badge, Basic; the Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge; and the Overseas Service Bar.
The Governor's order applies to both U.S. and State flags on all public buildings in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.