San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 27th, 2010
Governor orders county flags at half-mast for Peña

STAFF REPORT

Texas Governor Rick Perry has issued a directive that all flags in San Marcos and Hays County be flown at half mast Friday, in honor of the late U.S. Army Captain Paul Peña, who died in the line of duty last week in Afghanistan.

San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz has ordered the San Marcos city flag to be flown at half-mast all week in memory of Peña, a San Marcos Baptist Academy (SMBA) graduate who was killed by a roadside bomb. Narvaiz requested that the governor make the broader declaration.

The Governor’s office issued the declaration for San Marcos and Hays County to remember the 27-year old San Marcos native who was killed in combat on Jan. 19.

“On behalf of Governor Perry and this office, let me express our sincere condolences on the loss of this fine Texan,” the declaration said. “Your community should be proud that it produced a brave and honorable man such as Captain Paul W. Peña …

“As per your request, all state and national flags in the City of San Marcos and the County of Hays may be lowered to half-staff in honor of the life and military service of United States Army Captain Paul W. Peña of San Marcos who was killed in the line of duty while supporting combat operations in Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Flags may be lowered on the day of interment once that date is set by the family. Flags should return to full-staff at the beginning of the next day.”

Said Narvaiz, “Captain Peña is a true American hero who has made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. I urge our community to come together to demonstrate our concern, our support and our gratitude to Captain Peña and to keep his family in our prayers.”

Narvaiz encouraged all San Marcos residents to display the American flag, large or small, in memory of Peña, a graduate of the San Marcos Academy in 2000 and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2004.

Family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the SMBA. A memorial service will take place there at 7 p.m., with the Reverend Dr. Mark Miller officiating.

Family will receive friends 10 a.m. Friday at St. John’s the Evangelist, 128 South Audubon Drive in San Antonio, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., with Father Stuart Juleen officiating. Interment will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.

Peña’s body returned to San Marcos Tuesday after landing at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. Hundreds of people lined city streets as a motorcade with Peña’s body drove through San Marcos.

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