LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and at all Michigan military facilities to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, March 6 to honor the life and service of Lieutenant General Vernon Andrews, former Michigan National Guard adjutant general. The flag honors will coincide with his funeral.
“Our state owes a debt of gratitude to Lieutenant General Andrews for his decades of leadership in the Michigan National Guard,” Governor Whitmer said. “By lowering the flags for Lieutenant General Andrews, we recognize and honor his 32 years of military service and commitment to protecting our great state. My thoughts are with his family and friends as they lay him to rest.”
Vernon J. Andrews was born in Sturgis, Michigan in 1929. He held a bachelor’s degree in pre-law and a master’s degree in history and political science from Michigan State University. He later attended the University of Michigan Law School, earning a Juris Doctorate degree in 1956.
In 1953, Andrews graduated from the Reserve Officer Training Course and was appointed as a second lieutenant. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve until 1958 when he joined the Michigan Army National Guard. While in the Michigan National Guard, Andrews rose through the ranks to Brigadier General.
Andrews was appointed as Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard and Director of the Michigan Department of Military Affairs by Governor James Blanchard in 1983 Culminating his eight years of service as Adjutant General, Andrews was promoted to Lieutenant General (MI) in December 1990. He completed more than 32 years of military service on February 2, 1991 , earning countless decorations and awards throughout his service to the state and nation.
Andrews passed away on Thursday, February 25, 2021 at the age of 91 years old.
The State of Michigan recognizes the duty, honor and selfless service of Lieutenant General Vernon J. Andrews by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.
To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day.
Flags should be returned to full-staff on Sunday, March 7, 2021.