Montana Governor Steve Bullock today issued a proclamation ordering U.S. and state flags be lowered to half staff from sun-up to sun-down on Saturday, January 24, in honor of Montana Air National Guard Pilot Lieutenant Colonel Ian McBeth, who died Thursday along with two others in his crew while fighting fires in New South Wales, Australia.
"I hereby order all flags flown in the state of Montana to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, January 25th, 2020, to honor Montana Air National Guard Pilot Lieutenant Colonel Ian McBeth, who lost his life in the line of duty as a first responder on January 23rd, 2020," Bullock wrote. "Ian was a devoted father and husband, a brave first responder, and a selfless service member who made the ultimate sacrifice helping the people of Australia combat the catastrophic wildfires devastating their country.
"Our service members and their families already sacrifice so much, and Ian took his call of duty even further to help those in need across the world. The thoughts and prayers of my family and administration are with the family, friends, and the fellow guard members of Lieutenant Colonel McBeth.
"We will always be grateful for Ian’s service to our state, our nation and the world."