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Statement of Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, On Approval for Sgt. Florich’s Burial in Arlington National Cemetery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: communications@liuna.org or 202-942-2246

Washington, D.C. (June 16, 2015) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the U.S. Army’s approval for the burial of LIUNA member and National Guard Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich in Arlington National Cemetery. Sgt. Florich was one of 11 service members killed March 10 when the helicopter they were in crashed during a training exercise.

LIUNA applauds the Secretary of the U.S. Army for approving the burial of Sgt. Florich in Arlington National Cemetery. While first denied the burial because he was not on active duty, the Army reversed that decision following appeals by his family, LIUNA Local 1776, and the support of more than 130 members of Congress, led by Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana (R), who pointed out Sgt. Florich was performing the same duties as active members when he lost his life.

The appeal on his behalf will also result in a review of the Code of Federal Regulations in light of the changing nature of service, in which reserve and active duty service members increasingly train side-by-side.

As a dedicated member of LIUNA Local 1776, the half-million men and women of LIUNA are proud to have called Sgt. Florich our brother. He was a brave patriot and it is fitting that his final resting place will always honor his sacrifice.

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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.