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Flags Lowered Over State Capitol In Honor Of California National Guardsman

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Flags lowered to half-staff above the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered the flags at California's capitol be lowered to half-staff in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Raul Escobedo, 41, a member of the California Army National Guard.

A statement released by the governor's office reads, in part:

[Escobedo] bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation.

The Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

Escobedo was a resident of Fullerton in Orange County. On June 11, he was participating in training at Camp Roberts, near San Luis Obispo, when he fell ill, according to a Guard news release:

Escobedo exhibited symptoms of a heart attack, which led soldiers in the area to begin efforts to revive Escobedo before he was medevaced to Sierra Vista where he was pronounced dead.

California Army National Guard personnel flew Escobedo’s wife, also a National Guardsman, to the hospital shortly after his death.

Capt. Will Martin, California Army National Guard public affairs officer, told the San Luis Obispo Tribune:

“It was in the evening, so it wasn't hot, and he was not engaged in physical activity. So it seems to be unrelated to the exercise itself."

Sadly, Escobedo had experienced chest pains in the earlier on the day of his death, and had sought treatment at a nearby medical center — but hospital staff cleared him to return to Guard duty after an examination.

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