ALBANY, N.Y. - The flags flown at half-staff at New York's Capitol in honor of servicemen and women killed in action will be given to the service members' families under a law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Flags flying at half-staff have long been a tradition at the state Capitol. But until now, the flags haven't been given to the families as is often done with flags flown in Washington.
The law signed Sunday creates the Lt. Col. Todd Clark Memorial Flag Presentation Program. Flags flown in honor of fallen servicemen and women will presented to their families at no cost.
Clark, of Guilderland, was a 17-year Army veteran who was killed in June in Afghanistan on his fifth tour of duty when an Afghan officer who was in training with Clark turned on him with a gun. Clark was a Purple Heart recipient following injuries he sustained during a tour of duty in 2011.
When Clark's family asked for one of the flags flown at half-staff over the state capitol to honor his service and sacrifice -- they were told they'd have to pay for it. After the family reached out to local legislators, the bill was sponsored by Sen. Hugh Farley and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.