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Flags fly at half mast to honor soldier

All Covington County flags will be lowered to half-mast today in honor of the local U.S. Army soldier who succumbed last week to a virus he contracted from a tick bite while serving in Afghanistan. His family requested that flags be lowered in his name.

Sgt. E-5 Robert David Gordon II, 22, of River Falls, was stationed close to Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul when bitten, family members said. Gordon, who was transferred to Germany for medical treatment, slipped into a five-day coma before suffering a heart attack on Wed., Sept. 16.

Doctors determined Gordon contracted the rare Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus, which has been recorded in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. According to the World Health Organization’s Web site, the mortality rate for the CCHF virus is 30 percent.

The family will receive friends Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Foreman-Brown Service Funeral Home in Andalusia.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Red Level High School auditorium, followed by burial in the New Home Cemetery on Plywood Mill Road.

The flags will remain at half-mast throughout the weekend in Gordon’s honor.