UPDATE: Flags To Lower To Half-Staff Sunday

UPDATED Friday, June 18, 2010 --- 10:27 a.m.

Release from the WI Department of Military Affairs:

NEWS: Flags lowered to half-staff in Wisconsin Sunday for Army Lt. Col. Paul Bartz

Date: June 18, 2010

Flags lowered to half-staff in Wisconsin Sunday for Army Lt. Col. Paul Bartz Flags at Wisconsin National Guard armories, air bases and other facilities across the state will fly at half-staff Sunday, June 20 in honor of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Paul Bartz, a Waterloo native, who lost his life while serving his country in Operation Enduring Freedom. The Guard will render these honors in accordance with an executive order issued by Gov. Jim Doyle.

EXECUTIVE ORDER # 319 reads:

Relating to a Proclamation that the Flag of the United States and the Flag of the State of Wisconsin be Flown at Half-Staff as a Mark of Respect for Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bartz of the United States Army Who Lost His Life While Serving His Country in Operation Enduring Freedom.

WHEREAS, on May 18, 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bartz, who was assigned to Headquarters, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y., died while serving his country in Afghanistan; and

WHEREAS, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bartz provided faithful and honorable service to the people of the State of Wisconsin and the people of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the people of Wisconsin mourn the death of Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bartz; and

WHEREAS, a memorial service will be held for Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bartz on Sunday, June 20, 2010;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JIM DOYLE, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me by Federal and State law, do hereby order that the flag of the United States and the flag of the State of Wisconsin shall be flown at half-staff at all buildings, grounds and military installations of the State of Wisconsin equipped with such flags beginning at sunrise on Sunday, June 20, 2010, and ending at sundown on that date.

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All Wisconsin state government facilities are covered by the governor's order and a 2007 amendment to the U.S. Flag Code now requires all federal facilities in Wisconsin to comply. Other government agencies, businesses and private residences with flagpoles may also honor Lt. Col. Paul Bartz by lowering their U.S. and Wisconsin state flags to half-staff during the daylight hours on June 20.

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POSTED: Thursday, May 20, 2010 --- 4:40 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard

Tonight many in Waterloo are mourning the loss of 43-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bartz.

He's one of five soldiers killed in the deadliest attack in Afghanistan in eight months.

Those who knew Bartz call him a natural leader, always looking out for other people.

It is a reputation that only grew stronger as he worked his way up to a top military position.

Flags at Waterloo's Veterans Memorial fly at half staff today.

The memory of Bartz is fresh in many minds.

Dick Jones says, "It's been real tough. You fight back tears."

Jones knew Bartz well. He's a former teacher and the two grew close in recent years. Tuesday night he got the bad news.

Bartz is one of five soldiers killed in the Afghan capitol of Kabul, apparently among 18 people killed by a suicide car bombing on Tuesday.

Jones says, "They got the wrong guy. He had lived in that part of the world, appreciated the culture, history. I mean if this thing was ever going to work out positively for both sides he was one of the guys that you needed and now he's gone."

Bartz is survived by his wife and son.

Many in this small city are shocked by the news. One relative tells us Paul was doing what he loved to do. He called him a great person and said he would do anything for anyone.

Former teachers and coaches remember Bartz as the star linebacker and quarterback, member of the basketball team and Prom King.

Former teacher Diann Skalitzky says, "When you talk about a hometown boy this was somebody that was from Waterloo."

Doug Miller used to coach Bartz on the football team.

He says, "I knew the High School young man very well and he was very intelligent, hardworking and was people first. He was just a great young man."

A great young man that Jones saw grow into a great leader that he says would modestly joke he was just a guy from Waterloo.

Jones says, "Paul you were one of the smart people and I'm going to miss you."

In a city where the patriotism is easy to see this hero will be remembered not only for who he was but the great man he became and the sacrifice he gave.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying one of their operatives based in Kabul was driving the suicide vehicle.

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 19, 2010 --- 10:53 p.m.

WATERLOO, Wis. (AP) -- The Defense Department says a soldier from Wisconsin was among five American soldiers killed in an attack in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon identified him Wednesday night as 43-year-old Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, of Waterloo. He was assigned to the headquarters of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

A news release says the five died Tuesday in the Afghan capital Kabul "of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their convoy with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device."

They apparently were among the 18 people, including five U.S. soldiers, killed Tuesday in a suicide car bombing in Kabul. But the statement gave no further details on the attack. A message left with the public affairs office of the 10th Mountain Division was not immediately returned.

A person who answered the phone at the home of Bartz' relatives in Waterloo declined to comment.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 19, 2010 --- 9:40 p.m.

By Fort Drum Public Affairs
Two 10th Mountain Soldiers killed in Afghanistan Tuesday

FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Two 10th Mountain Division Soldiers were killed when a suicide vehicle-born improvised explosive device exploded near their convoy in Kabul Tuesday, May 18.

Killed were:
Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Wisconsin.
Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Ohio.

Lt. Col. Bartz and Lt. Col. Belkofer were part of a team from the 10th Mountain Division headquarters to conduct key leader training and set the conditions for the 10th Mountain Division headquarters' deployment to Afghanistan later this year.

Lt. Col. Bartz served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (Personnel) with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). Bartz arrived to Fort Drum June 2009.

Lt. Col. Bartz is survived by his wife and son.

Lt. Col. Bartz' awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Army Achievement Medal.

Lt. Col. Belkofer served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-8 (Comptroller) with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). Belkofer has one previous deployment to Afghanistan from January 2005 to February 2006. He arrived to Fort Drum July 2009.

Lt. Col. Belkofer is survived by his wife and two children.

Lt. Col. Belkofer's awards and decorations include the Bronze Start Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Air Assault Badge, and Parachutist Badge.

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Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 --- 9:25 p.m.

From the U.S. Department of Defense:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of five soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died May 18 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their convoy with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Killed were:

Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of New Jersey, assigned to the U.S. Army Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.;

Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., assigned to Headquarters, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.;

Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio, assigned to Headquarters, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.;

Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., assigned to Special Troops Battalion, V Corps, Heidelberg, Germany; and

Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La., assigned to Special Troops Battalion, V Corps, Heidelberg, Germany.


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