Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Social Club' started by hunter7x, Mar 2, 2006.
These people make me sick.
Bikers drown out funeral protesters
By Ryan Lenz
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. â€” Wearing leather chaps and vests covered in military patches, a band of motorcyclists rolls from one soldierâ€™s funeral to another in hopes their respectful cheers and revving engines will drown out the insults of protesters.
The motorcycle club members calling themselves Patriot Guard Riders are trying to shield mourners from cruel jeers by adherents of a tiny fundamentalist church who picket military funerals to reflect their belief that U.S. combat deaths are a sign God is punishing the United States for harboring homosexuals. Some protestersâ€™ signs said, â€œThank God for IEDs,â€ the improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs, that kill many U.S. soldiers.
â€œThe most important thing we can do is let families know that the nation cares,â€ said Don Woodrick, the biker groupâ€™s Kentucky captain. â€œWhen a total stranger gets on a motorcycle in the middle of winter and drives 300 miles to hold a flag, that makes a powerful statement.â€
Across the nation, Patriot Guard Riders number more than 5,000. They show up at soldiersâ€™ funerals to chant patriotic slogans and wave red, white and blue flags in hopes of overshadowing backers of a Kansas clergyman named the Rev. Fred Phelps.
Phelps and members of his Westboro Baptist Church have caused such a fuss that at least 14 states are considering laws aimed at the funeral protests. During the 1990s, church members were known mostly for picketing funerals of AIDS victims, and they have long been tracked as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centerâ€™s Intelligence Project in Montgomery, Alabama.
The projectâ€™s deputy director, Heidi Beirich, said other groups have tried to counter Phelpsâ€™ message, but none have been as organized as the Patriot Guard.
â€œIâ€™m not sure anybody has gone to this length to stand in solidarity,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s nice that these veterans and their supporters are trying to do something. I canâ€™t imagine anything worse, your loved one is killed in Iraq and youâ€™ve got to deal with Fred Phelps.â€
At a recent memorial service at Fort Campbell, church protesters and sang vulgar songs condemning homosexuals and soldiers. The Patriot Guard was also there, cheering to support mourning families across the street as community members came in a freezing rain to chant â€œU-S-A, U-S-Aâ€ alongside the bikers.
â€œThis is just the right thing to do. This is something America didnâ€™t do in the â€™70s,â€ said Kurt Mayer, the Patriot Guardâ€™s national spokesman, referring to the era when protests against the Vietnam war were common. â€œWhether we agree with why weâ€™re over there, these soldiers are dying to protect our freedoms.â€
Shirley Phelps-Roper, a daughter of Fred Phelps and an attorney for the Topeka, Kansas-based church, said neither state laws nor the Patriot Guard can silence their message that God killed the soldiers because they fought for a country that embraces homosexuals.
â€œThe scriptures are crystal clear that when God sets out to punish a nation, it is with the sword. An IED is just a broken-up sword,â€ Phelps-Roper said. â€œSince that is his weapon of choice, our forum of choice has got to be a dead soldierâ€™s funeral.â€
The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelpsâ€™ extended family. A small group of them appeared last month in West Virginia outside a memorial for the 12 men killed in the Sago Mine disaster. They held signs reading â€œThank God for Dead Minersâ€ and â€œMiners in Hell.â€
Kentucky, home to sprawling Fort Campbell, was among the first states to attempt to deal with Phelps legislatively. Its House and Senate have each passed bills that would limit people from protesting within 300 feet of a funeral or memorial service. The Senate version would also keep protesters from being within earshot of grieving friends and family members.
The Indiana Senate has passed a bill intended to prohibit protests within 500 feet (150 meters) of funerals. The House is considering the measure.
The bills were written to protect families of soldiers such as Pvt. Jonathan R. Pfender, 22, of Evansville, Indiana, a soldier from Fort Campbellâ€™s 101st Airborne Division who was killed in January by a roadside bomb in Beiji, Iraq.
Westboro church members protested at Pfenderâ€™s funeral, screaming profanities at mourners as they passed. Family members were shielded from the insults by the rumble of Patriot Guard motorcycles.
â€œWe were glad that the Patriot Guard Riders were there,â€ said Jackie Pfender, the soldierâ€™s stepmother. â€œThis group of protesters wanted to put something negative on Jonathanâ€™s funeral. In actuality, it became a positive thing because of the support we had.â€
Patriot Guard members only show up at funerals if invited by family. Richard Wilbur, a retired police detective, said his Indiana Patriot Guard group came to the Pfender funeral at the familyâ€™s request after protesters announced they planned to attend.
â€œNo one deserves this,â€ Wilbur said. â€œIf I were burying my loved one and they were out there yelling anything close to what they yel to the families of these soldiers, I know my temperament. I probably would not handle it very well.â€
Rickey E. Jones, 21,
of Kokomo, Ind.; sergeant, Army. Jones was among four soldiers killed Wednesday when their Humvee struck a roadside bomb while on patrol in Hawija, Iraq, north of Baghdad. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky.
These scum bags are coming to Kokomo to protest this young man death. His funeral is Monday the 6th.
Is throwing water balloons at people considered assault?
I really can not believe that some people are so inconsiderate. I would not be able to handle it. I would be calling the local police telling them that some one is about to get shot!
be time to kick some religous :ass:in my book
Put on your steel toed boots and give them a swift kick in the nads. Protesting at a funeral is just plain ignorant.
This kinda cr@p makes me sick......
Even if you don't agree with the politics of why we're over there, it really has nothing to do with the individual soldier that gave his life for his/our country. To terrorize the familys of these brave men during a time like this, really is one of the worst acts of cowardism, and insensitivity I've ever seen...
And some how, hollywood types will probably portray them as some type of hero.....
Some people have no respect for others.
The gov. Matt Blunt, made it illegal last week to protest at a funeral here in MO. Hope other states follow.
OK folks, here's a link you may want to visit. www.patriotguard.org The funeral mission for the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is going to be one of the biggest. The UG's (uninvited guests) the WBC out of Kansas is going to be there.
Fortunately, we in the Guard are non hostile. We position ourselves as so the family is shielded from this group of self righteous ass holes. We do not yell back at these people or do we get into any confrontation at all with the UG's.
The WBC and their affiliates have been using harassing phone calls to the SGT. Jones' family and have even stooped to vandalizing his family's home. The Guard is expecting the largest mission yet and the staging area has been moved to a high school.
You do not have to be a biker to join our group. Anyone with our mission statement at heart is welcome. We have now over 11,000 member nation wide. YOU ARE NEEDED IN THE GUARD.
The Guard only goes to a service person's funeral when invited by the family. You may see all this type of info on the website, www.patriotguard.org . Make sure you read some of the letters the Guard has received from families. Have some tissue ready.
Yesterday at 2:30 pm, Gov Blunt held the ceremonial signing of "Eddies Law" that prohitbits protesting 1 hour before and 1 hour after a service persons funeral. The Guard was there and well represented. Cut and paste this link to read all about it. http://www.patriotguard.org/Forums/tabid/61/view/topic/postid/27597/ptarget/30893/Default.aspx
Patriot Guard Rider
Awesome Reed !
Are you coming to this one in Kokomo ? If so look me up. Depending on what high school I'm not far from the South Campus.
Wish I could, but one of my fellow RoadKing Riders member is attending on my behalf. This one should make the news nation wide.
The WBC is just unreal. They take their 8 y/o children there and have them sing "God Hates America". They do things that I just can't type here without getting absolutely raging mad as hell kick-a&&, fuming, etc, etc, (you get the point).
I joined I am hunter7x on there.
Looking forward to riding to help honor this young man.
Thanks hthrly7 and Reed. I can't say what I want too but I am sure everyone has the same idea.
lets all get some of those DEER butt tools(cant remember the name) and all mee there.
bunch of freaks.
If they hit you it's a battery not an assault.
Ride on, Steve & Reed!
That prick Phelps has been in the St. Louis area a couple times this year. Missouri recently passed a law banning cemetary demonstrations but I seriously doubt it will pass Constitutional muster.
It would be delicious irony if he and his followers died in a fiery crash driving to a protest.
Hundreds expected for soldierâ€™s funeral
By SCOTT SMITH
Tribune staff writer
Mondayâ€™s funeral for Sgt. Rickey Jones, the Kokomo soldier killed Feb. 22 in Iraq, will be moved to Crossroads Community Church, according to Kokomo police Lt. Don Whitehead.
An estimated 300 to 500 veterans from around the country are expected to be on hand for the funeral, which had been scheduled to take place at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home in Kokomo.
The 10 a.m. time for services has not been changed, nor has the young soldierâ€™s final resting place, Memorial Park Cemetery, Whitehead said.
Many veterans are coming to the funeral to pay respects to the family and honor Jones, and to show support of the family in the event protesters show up at the services.
Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., has announced several protests around the nation in coming days, including plans to picket at Mondayâ€™s funeral here and the funerals of other servicemen elsewhere.
The churchâ€™s Web site said Mondayâ€™s protest in Kokomo will be â€œlike the IED America bombed [the church] with in a terroristic effort to silence our anti-gay Gospel preaching.â€
â€œIEDâ€ stands for improvised explosive device.
Sgt. Jones, a graduate of Kokomo High School and a member of the Armyâ€™s 101st Airborne Division, was killed when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle.
Other demonstrations were planned this week for the funerals of Marine Capt. Bryan D. Willard in New Kingstown, Pa., Thursday and of Army Spc. Jessie Davila on Saturday in Dodge City, Kan.
John Ayres, commander of VFW Post 1152 in Kokomo, said veterans plan to keep the event peaceful. Veterans groups recently were on hand at the funeral of Spc. Matthew C. Frantz, 23, of Lafayette, who was laid to rest Jan. 30.
â€œWe succeeded over there, and there will be a lot more vets here than there were there,â€ Ayres said Wednesday.
Groups expected to attend the funeral to show support for the soldierâ€™s family include the Patriot Guard Riders, who have received national media attention for their attendance at military funerals. American Legion riders from Lafayette and numerous Vietnam veterans also are expected to attend the funeral.
Jerry Brown, director of Region 3 ABATE of Indiana, said members of the group, as well as other motorcyclists, have planned to attend the funeral since learning of the soldierâ€™s death.
He said they will not be there under the umbrella of ABATE, but rather as a group of individuals representing humankind.
â€œWeâ€™re there to take care of the family and show them there are people out there who respect what he died for,â€ Brown said.
He said the many people slated to turn out for the funeral are extremely patriotic and plan to show that pride, not to contend with protesters.
â€œWe canâ€™t have any trouble,â€ he said. â€œAll it does is give the protest group there 15 minutes of fame, again.â€
Supporters of the family plan to show whether the protesters do or not, he said.
Brown said the patriotic people showing up at funerals are getting â€œa bad rapâ€ and the national media are sensationalizing what they are doing. There is no human barricade, he said. They line up, play patriotic music and fly American flags.
The actual crowd could be much more than estimated now because of local residents planning to attend.
The post is at 920 N. Washington St. For more information, call the post at (765) 452-9953 or 452-1521.
â€œThe best thing people can do is to act like [the Westboro group] is not even there,â€ Ayres said. â€œBy confronting them, youâ€™re playing right into their hands.â€
The church, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, describes itself on its Web site as â€œan Old School (or, Primitive) Baptist Church. In short, we adhere to the teachings of the Bible, preach against all form of sin (e.g., fornication, adultery, sodomy), and insist that the doctrines of grace be taught publicly to all men.â€
The church has gained notoriety in recent months for acts similar to those planned this week and in Kokomo on Monday.
Police first became aware this past weekend that the Westboro group might be planning to picket the funeral when Jonesâ€™ family reported vandalism at one of their Kokomo homes.
Relatives said they received anonymous phone calls from someone saying, â€œWeâ€™re glad your son is dead.â€
Police Chief Russell Ricks, Howard County Sheriff Marty Talbert and funeral director Jeff Stout met Wednesday to discuss Mondayâ€™s funeral, including security precautions.
Ricks, Talbert, State Rep. John Smith, R-Kokomo, representatives of the Indiana State Police and others will attend a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Friday to talk about arrangements.
Family members have requested no press be allowed in to services, Whitehead said.
Misty Knisely, night editor, contributed to this report.
The sad thing is that there are people who actually think what they are doing is right. Some of the human race scares me.eepwall: