Friday, August 25, 2006

Another PGR Funeral Ride

Randy and I went to another funeral of a fallen soldier with the PGR (Patriot Guard Riders ). He was 31 years old. He had a wife, a three year old son, and an nine year old daughter. There were 150 of us. We formed a human barrier around the funeral home with our 3'x5' American flags on 8 foot tall poles. And yes, the Westboro Baptist Church and their infamous leader, Reverend Phelps, were there. They were not protesting the war, only the fact that our government is tolerant of homosexuality in the armed forces. The new law is, they must stay 500 feet away and can only protest the funeral 1 hour before it starts and 1 hour after it starts. All businesses surrounding the funeral home had security to block the crazies from protesting on their property.

They stayed there on a median in the street for the full 2 hours. There were about 15 of them. Men, women, and children holding their signs that read, “GOD HATES FAGS, FAGS HATE GOD, AIDS CURES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR AIDS, FAGS BURN IN HELL, FAGS ARE NATURE FREAKS, GOD GAVE FAGS UP, NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR FAGS”, and a new one, “SOLDIERS ARE FAGS.” It broke my heart. The adults stand in the center with the children surrounding them. They were singing a song to the melody of “As the Casons (spelling?) Go Rolling Along”. I can't remember all the words, but they were singing words like, as the fag soldiers' arms, legs are thrown in the air from explosions...I don't know, I had to go to another place in my head to block them out. The guard pulled 30 of us to form 3 lines deep about 50 feet in front of them so the family could not see them. We totally blocked them from their view. Vehicles were driving by flipping the protesters off, laying scratch in front of them and so on. They finally left.

We all road to the grave sight and gathered in a U shape around the tent. There was a 21 gun solute and the ritual of the folding of the flag. The soldiers, men and women, as soldiers do, stood strong with complete emotionless faces at attention. I know they had to go somewhere else in their head as I did. I was standing way to close to the family. The mother and her daughter were sobbing. I was standing there trying to hold back tears. I looked at the trees, the clouds, tried to think of other things. I held my flag in front of my face hoping no one would notice the tears that finally came rolling down my face. I finally composed myself when the 9 year old daughter came a shook our hands and thanked us for being there. It took everything I had not to let go the pain and empathy I felt. I will never stand so close again. However, after it was all over, I felt as if I did a good thing. I enjoyed the ride and all of my fellow riders.

A phenomenal poet and fellow blogger, Sir James E. Watkins wrote a poem that truly fit the entire experience, the war, the protesters... A poem called “Listen”. He posted it on 08/04/06. Check it out. It helped me through...

Now, on a lighter note....There was a business close by. The building was probably about 15 stories tall. Apparently the president of the company watched everything from his window. He came over and invited all of us to his employee cafeteria for lunch. Randy arrived late because he was one of the riders who escorted the mourning family to a restaurant they were all meeting. He also escorted the hearst to the grave sight. My husband exudes strength. He is always chosen to do special duty.

I only took a few photos at the staging area before the ride...If they don't upload, I will post them later.


zilla said...

It feel so angry that these jack-asses involve children in their disgusting protests.

Good on you. Good on Randy. Good on the PGR!

Sassy said...

Wow. Very sad. You would think by now, people in the world would stop being so ignornant. Good thing there are great people like you and Randy. :)

pearl said...

i really admire all of you. you guys do a good thing. the familys are lucky to have you there to protect them.

beckyboop said...

Thanks guys. I hate the war. I hate the protesters.


Jess said...

People like those "protestors" just F#%*in PISS me off!!!! I don't understand how there can be so much ignorance in the world. It's a great thing what you and Randy do! My husband is ex military, and we both thank you for all you do for the families of our hero's. I'm not a fan of the war, but I am a fan of the military. I totally support them. Thank you Becky! :)

fineartist said...

You know sweetie, you don't always have to hold back, there's no shame in the way your body expresses sorrow.

You with the tender heart.

It is a good thing, it's a kind thing, a respectful thing. Helping other humans pass, helping their families cope, keeping the sickos and more pain at a distance.

You know I'm crazy 'bout you...

Cheryl said...

I have to come back when I have something more coherent to say than OMG or wow.
I hope they'll do for now, but I am not going to pretend I can wrap my head round the enormity of this post just in the time it takes to read it.


fineartist said...

You know beck these people aren't protesting war, they are protesting human natures.

They've decided that the best way for them to gain attention in order to have their own personal beliefs seen is to attack and abuse other people. The f*ckwads.

It's a sad world we live in.

People don't wake up one morning and decide, "Hey I think I'd like to be gay." Hell no. It's interred in their bones, just like my being a hetero is interred in my bones.

Good Lord if the world suddenly changed and it was no longer the norm to be hetero, and homosexuality were the norm, I suppose I'd have three choices: 1. I could be a beat my breast hetero. 2. I could be a closet hetero, or 3. I could try to conform to the norm. Okay, 4. I could live my life as a hetero without beating my breast and not conform to what society expected of me, and have to deal with hate from people who don't understand me...

Sad really, people must be allowed to live according to their own natural bend, unless it hurts other people, you know, like pedophiles and such.

The f*ckwads and the pedophiles need help in order to bend properly maybe.

I'm indulging in a mini hormonal breakdown this morning, missed mass and managed to run everyone out of the house, except Mosie and he's looking for a way out without having to ask me to open the door as I type.

I feel better now after exploding and spewing poison out of my gob, but I'm a little ashamed and weak. Takes a lot out of me to be a total wench, I think.

picking up pieces of heart and soul here, missing your reassurance that I'm okay, you're okay, it will all be okay. Missing you making me laugh at my own asinine ness. Just miss you, that's all.

Jess said...

You know what..all I keep thinking about is that poor mans' children (and other fallen soldiers' children) who not only have the grief and being frightened with losing a parent, but also the fright from the whack jobs that are protesting. They don't understand. Don't these sicko's realize that these children have been through enough without adding to it? Well..duh..I guess not. My heart goes out to those babies.

beckyboop said...


I agree whole heartedly. It just freaks me out! This group has to be the devil's disciples. I can't even fathom why or how they could come to believe what they are doing is right.


Writer Mom said...


What your group does is incredible.

I admire you so much. If I could swing it, I'd go to the Harley shop this afternoon and get Tom a bike so that he could participate. This is such an amazing humanitarian group you belong to.
The worst of all possible times to have to deal with nut jobs.

This is so important, I'm wondering if you'd consider doing a Flickr account for your pictures. As much as I love Blogger, Flickr gets so much traffic, and the more people who know about this lunacy the better. We're all so isolated on the subject of this war and how we feel about it, but seeing this hateful mob attack both fallen soldiers AND homosexuals would really send a powerful message to all us people out here who need a kick in the ass to get out and do something.
Just a suggestion.
I don't work for Flickr. Just want to see your pictures.
Thank you. Thanks to your hubby. You're good people.

Rain said...

I can't quite figure out their agenda, seems like a bunch of loonies. Also seems like a hate crime. No one is more against the war than me, but I would never disrespect a soldier or his/her family. Hating homosexuals seems to be the civil rights battle of our times.

Holly said...

Those people are soooooo stupid. The military isn't really tolerant of homosexuals. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is actually the "Just Keep Your Mouth Shut" policy. The same policy that's always existed, if unspoken, until it was given a name by Bill Clinton. If they find out you're gay, your ass gets the boot. How is that tolerance? Phelps is really reaching here. He is such a tool. Why isn't it people like him that crazies target for asassination? Because they recognize one of their own?

I hope the next time he's out "protesting" he gets hit by a car. And dragged. For miles. Nobody else, just him. Then, I hope wild dogs eat his innards, while he's still alive. Then, as he lay dying, I hope some gay guys walk over and jerk off on him.

That's tolerance.

Sarah said...

what an experience. I would have been a sobbing mess. such a tragedy to lose such a young man, husband and father, to such a horrible thing.

and then to add insuilt to injury, during a sacred and peace-seeking closure ceremony, you have hate-filled idiots on parade. with children. disgusting.

ariel said...


It's just wrong. I have zero tolerance for anyone who would show up to a man's funeral and spread hatred, fear, and sorrow amongst his friends and family. Good on ya for being there to protect them from it. And bad on the local populace for not standing up there with you, the police for not deciding that what they were doing was an outrage and horrendous violation of that family's rights. The law should have been there to protect that family, and take those people away, rather than let them stand there and hurt everyone around them.

The world saddens me so much sometimes... I just wish I could make it better.

Sir James E. Watkins said...

I feel very sorry these so very stupid people that you speak of, these protestors.

A lack of all that is truly human. Understanding. Compassion. Empathy. What sad beings they are, trapped in the ineffable hell of ignorance.

Sir James E. Watkins said...

oh, Listen is no longer there. I wouldn't have removed it if I had known you linked to it. Anyway, readers will have to buy the mag to see it. By the way, have you gotten yours yet?

just lookin' in on my frien' Becky Boo, The James.

Kelley Bell said...

My deepest respect and thanks to you and every one of the Patriot Riders.

How can those fundie loonies even imagine they are the "good" people?


Wish I could have been there to kick some biblical ass.