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Flags at half-staff across Utah for fallen soldier

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Posted at 3:33 PM, Jul 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-15 17:33:55-04

OGDEN, Utah — Flags in Utah were flown at half-staff Monday in honor of a Utah soldier who died while stationed overseas.

Utah Army Reserve 1st Sgt. Tracy L. Stapley died July 3 in Qatar in a non-combat incident.

Gov. Gary R. Herbert ordered flags to half-staff Monday at all state facilities, and he issued a statement, which said in part: “On behalf of all Utahns, Jeanette and I offer our heartfelt condolences to the family members and friends of First Sergeant Tracy L. Stapley. We mourn with you, and pray you find peace and comfort during this time of sadness.”

The 44-year-old man leaves behind a wife and two children. He had served in the Army Reserves for 26 years. He was born in Ogden, and he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Argentina.

Friends and family members gathered for a life celebration at Lindquist Memorial Gardens.

Capt. Chad Nixon, public affairs officer for the 807th Medical Command in Salt Lake City, said a great deal of people came to honor Stapley.

“Well, 26 years of dedicated service,” he said. “There was a very large turnout today to pay respects to 1st Sargent Stapley.”

Nixon spoke highly of Stapley and his service as a soldier.

“He was an excellent soldier,” he said. “Truly dedicated and good at his job.”

Stapley’s death remains under investigation.