CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Maura Healey has ordered U.S. and Massachusetts flags to be lowered to half staff through Friday evening.

This order is in honor of former Representative Anthony J. Verga Sr. who passed away on March 10 at the age of 87. According to his obituary, Verga was a veteran of the Navy and served during the Korean War era.

Verga was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1994 and served through 2008. He sponsored several bills but was most known for the “Welcome Home Bill” that received national attention as it became one of the most generous state benefits package for military and veterans families across the country. The bill was signed into law by former Governor Mitt Romney.