Honoring fallen trooper: U.S. Honor Flag to fly at officer’s funeral
By Joel Davis | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The United States Honor Flag arrived at McGhee Tyson Airport on Monday and will be flown in honor of the late Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Slagle.
Slagle, 53, died Friday following a crash on Longmire Road in Knox County shortly before 7 a.m., according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, He was discovered unresponsive and was unable to be revived at the scene. Slagle died of natural causes, not of injuries related to the crash.
The arrival of the flag was greeted with a water-cannon salute and an honor guard of state troopers and representatives of other law enforcement agencies.
THP Sgt. Randall Martin said Slagle was a good man. “Everybody who knew him, he was a friend to,” Martin said. “If you didn’t have something and needed it, he was one of the guys to help out.”
This could be picking up a stranded co-worker at 3 a.m. or buying food for someone hungry, Martin said. “He was an even better trooper. He was always fair to people. He always showed them respect.”
The U.S. Honor Flag originally flew over the Capitol Building in Texas. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the flag was sent to New York City, where it was flown at ground zero during the recovery efforts and at memorial services. Family members requested the flag be used for all other servicemen and women around the nation, honoring them just as the heroes of 9/11 were honored.
Since then, the U.S. Honor Flag has been flown to cities all around the nation, and in October 2004, the flag traveled to Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq.
The flag will displayed during Slagle’s funeral and burial services. “We requested the honor flag,” Martin said. “It was bestowed on us to honor his service to the state of Tennessee.”
Slagle joined the THP in 1986. Originally from Grainger County, he was initially assigned to Campbell County. During his tenure, he served in both Union and Knox Counties before his current assignment in the Supreme Court detail in Knox County.
Slagle became a field training officer in 2000. Outside of his duties as a state trooper, he also helped provide security for the University of Tennessee marching band in 2003.
Prior to becoming a state trooper, he served as a deputy sheriff for the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office from 1978-1985.
He is a 1978 graduate of Rutledge High School in Grainger County.
Slagle is survived by his wife, two daughters and one son.
Masonic services will be held by Corryton Masonic Lodge in the chapel of Berry Funeral Home by Mike Lett at 7 p.m. today. Funeral services will follow after the Masonic service with Rev. Denny Ford officiating.
Family and friends will meet at Berry Funeral Home at noon on Wednesday and proceed to Woodlawn Cemetery for a 1 p.m. graveside service. Condolences may be offered at http://www.berryfuneralhome.com .