Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington state agency buildings be lowered to half-staff Thursday in memory of Longview's fallen soldier, U.S. Army Specialist Mikayla A. Bragg, who died Dec. 20 while serving in Afghanistan.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business Thursday, or first thing Friday morning. Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join in this recognition.

Locally, a celebration of life will be held for Bragg at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Kelso Eagles, 609 S. Pacific Ave., Kelso.

"Anybody who wants to come pay their respects, they can do it there. That's where we'll all be," Bragg's stepmother, Amber Bragg, said Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Mark Morris High School graduate was shot and killed while on guard duty in the Khowst Province along Afghanistan's southeast border. She'd been deployed from Fort Knox to Afghanistan last summer and was scheduled to return from her first tour early this month.

About 60 people attended Bragg's military memorial service at Fort Knox in Kentucky on Dec. 29. Her remains were flown to Joint Base Lewis McChord on Tuesday, Amber Bragg said.

The date and place of a funeral still have not been determined.

"We're just kind of in limbo right now," she said.

Mikayla Bragg's father and stepmother, Steven and Amber Bragg, live in Longview. Her mother, Sheyanne Baker, lives in Shelton, Wash.

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