FORT HOOD, Texas — The family of a Fort Hood soldier who died serving our country said they wanted to see the American flag lowered in his honor.
At first, they thought they missed their chance. KCEN Channel 6 investigative reporter Andrew Moore spoke to officials to see if the state or county could do anything about it.
Sgt. James Johnston died June 25 in Afghanistan after his unit was attacked.
Originally from Tyler, Texas, Johnston was a sergeant assigned to the 79th Ordnance Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group.
Gov. Greg Abbott's office told Johnston's family the flag would be lowered at the capital last Thursday and Friday in his honor, but when Johnston's family went to Austin Friday to see it, the flag was back up as of 6 p.m., despite the Governor's orders.
Channel 6 reached out to Bell County Judge David Blackburn Monday, as Blackburn would have the ability to request flags be lowered in Bell County where Johnston's widow still lives. Blackburn said he would see what he could do, and contacted the Governor's Office. Channel 6's Andrew Moore also spoke to the Governor's Office Monday.
The Governor's office took action the same day the issue was brought to their attention.
Just before 5 p.m., Senior Communications Adviser & Press Secretary John Wittman sent Channel 6 an order from the Governor.
The order stated, "It is fitting that flags also be flown at half-staff in Coryell County, the home of Sgt. Johnston’s wife. Therefore, according to the previously cited statutory references, Texas and U.S. flags in the counties of Coryell and Bell may be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, in honor of Sgt. Johnston and his service to state and nation. Flags should return to full staff at sunset that day."
Johnston worked his whole life to be a soldier. He was deployed to Afghanistan in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and tasked with removing the explosive traps. He was killed Tuesday in an ambush, and his parents and wife are committed to honoring his memory.
On Tuesday, July 2nd, flags may be flown at half staff to honor Johnston's sacrifice.
Johnston leaves behind a wife, Krista Johnston, and an unborn baby girl.
The day before Sgt. James Johnston deployed, the couple found out they were pregnant.
Kirsta Johnston said she will make sure their daughter knows who her father was. Their baby girl will be named Jamie Avery Grace Johnston, to honor the man who died to protect his country, his family and her.
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