Lacking Respect


On Thursday, one day before the eighth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted, on its Web site, a pair of e-mail messages that should be shared with as many people as possible.

The first e-mail was sent by a Missouri woman to Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer with regard to a funeral procession for a fallen American soldier in and around Cedar Hill, MO. Rather than paraphrase it–I couldn’t possibly do it justice–I’ll let you read it for yourselves:

I tried to call you earlier this morning, but was unable to obtain your extension from the voice mail system as I was not sure of your first name or correct spelling of your last.

I was inadvertently in this procession as I was leaving work on 270 from Creve Coeur and proceeding on Hwy. 30 West. I have some issues and complaints. I called the Sheriff’s office last night, but the officer in charge would not speak with me. His name was Corp. Curtis. I am in no way complaining about your officers. I, however, was not treated very fairly when I called last evening because I wanted a ticket/complaint/or at least a slap on wrist for the people involved. Let me explain:

  1. This procession should never have been held during rush hour traffic! Hwy. 270 is dangerous and people drive way too fast and there is too much traffic. This soldier’s certainly would not have want his family hurt on the interstate taking him to Cedar Hill. People were dead-stopping on the interstate even though the procession was in the far right lane, the other three lanes just stopped. There were many near accidents and possibly were after I drove through. I was in the 2nd to left lane, no way obstructing the funeral procession.
  2. I exited off on Gravois (30 W), far right lane. Your police officers went in the left lane to stop any additional on-coming traffic so the procession could exit off 270 into the LEFT lane of 30. Again, I was in the right lane. The St. Louis County officer stopped and turned around at Weber Hill to return on 270 after the procession passed.
  3. The road was not closed. (Only for president as far as I know.) Again, the road was not closed. Your officers only had the left lane blocked/closed for the funeral. All other traffic by MO law can proceed as long as they do not interfere (weave in and out)with funeral procession.

Let me say, that I did not know what was happening. I knew the did not have Kennedy coming to STL, at least not yesterday. I was at work all day. No news. Nothing reported on the traffic on the radio driving home.

Anyway, two of these dirty, nasty, renegade, who knows what motorcycle men that were escorting the procession proceeded to stop in front of me in the right lane on Gravois. I had to stop in the middle of an intersection. They proceeded to scream and yell at me about respecting this soldier, etc. One of them climbed off his motorcycle and came over to me and stuck his head in my car continuing to scream at me. I asked him what this was for and he told me I needed to stop as the officers had the road blocked and show some dang respect. #1, the road was not blocked, the funeral was in the other lane. #2, I am proud of our country and sorry for the family, but they had no idea where I was going or anything else. I could have a child at day-care, I could have been sick and racing to the bathroom, I could have a sick parent waiting for me, etc., etc. #3, They are not law enforcement and had no right to stop in the lane on Gravois and they had no right to scream at me and intimidate and threaten me. If I would have had my pepper spray, I would have used it on this nasty man! He is just a big hoo ha that is not even related to this soldier. The other man did not get off his scooter, but was along side of my passenger window screaming.

I left an abusive husband 1 1/2 years ago and I did not need this intimidation. I was livid and shaking!!

My son is a deputy sheriff in another MO county. I respect police officers. It was not their fault as they were busy with traffic, but I called to make them aware of what was going on during this thing. The St. Louis County officer saw it but of course he was out of jurisdiction.

However, I called last night and your office asked me if I knew about this soldier. Again, I am sorry about him, but I am a taxpayer. I got a speeding ticket a few months ago and paid the fine. I do not deserve to be treated like this. I wanted to let the officer know how these men were acting. Also, they were driving into the turnarounds on Hwy. 30 and then back onto the road. the funeral was much further ahead. One of them nearly got hit by me and other people almost hit him and another as well. I wanted to lodge a complaint about them why they were still there, but no one in your office would take any information or do anything.

This was not a military funeral, even though it was a soldier. There were not military vehicles. It was a funeral and the road was not closed, the lane was closed, I was in the other lane and again, these nasty men had no right to do this and I would have liked them to get a ticket!

I am sorry for the soldier and his family but you cannot let these motorcycle renegades do this. They could have caused several accidents and I really wanted them arrested. If they had any respect for the soldier they would have dressed better and not looked and acted so scuzzy.

Thank you.

Had enough of this woman? I don’t know about you, but I barely made it through the entire e-mail. I’m a pretty respectful guy, and I’m not usually one to jump down somebody’s throat — except in cases of sheer ignorance and stupidity. And this was one of those cases.

I applaud Sheriff Boyer for showing the restraint I never could have, while still delivering nearly a perfect response:

From: Glenn Boyer/JEFFCO
Date: 08/31/2009 02:05 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Funeral Procession – Yesterday p.m.
——————————————————————————–

Dear XXXXX:

Yes, you do deserve a response and I am willing to give you one.

I would like to say that I am sorry for the inconvenience we caused you during the funeral procession of Sergeant 1st Class William B. Woods, but I cannot do so. I would ask instead that you take a moment of your time to take into consideration the scope of the event. Your very right to complain was the reason Sgt. Woods fought for his country and ultimately gave his life; thus making the ultimate sacrifice for you and your family.

Let me introduce you to him. After high school, Sergeant Woods entered the Marine Corps. After his contract was up, he joined the Army, where he became a Green Beret. He comes from a long line of military members in his family. His Uncle is a Vietnam Veteran and two of his grandfathers were World War II Veterans. His job in the Army was one of the most dangerous jobs – he was a sniper looking for the bad guys to stop before they killed or injured one of our soldiers. He has numerous decorations to include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

He grew up in Catawissa and was best known by his middle name, Brian. He enjoyed the outdoors, playing sports, and skydiving. He had a wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, whom he loved dearly. He was a soft-spoken, level-headed young man who was proud to serve his country no matter what the risk. Now, I did not know him, but I wish I did. I am quoting from newspaper articles written about him.

At the young age of 31, he was shot during an engagement with Taliban forces in Ghanzi , Afghanistan . He died of his wounds in Germany on August 16, with his family by his side. He did not choose the time of his death, nor did he choose the time his remains would be brought back to his home in Catawissa. He just did his duty. He was quite a young man.

While you were being inconvenienced in your car on your way home, there were soldiers just like Sergeant Woods carrying 100+ pounds of equipment in 120 degree heat, up some mountain or in the middle of some desert. They will shower out of a helmet liner if they get the chance. They will eat a cold meal of MRE’s; something most people would consider garbage. They cannot text their family or friends, or go to McDonalds, or watch TV. They can only continue the mission and look out after the guy to the left and right of them. They don’t complain because they know they volunteered. The only thing they ask is that we do not forget the sacrifices they have made.

One of the dirty “big hoo ha” bikers, as you call them, was Brian’s uncle, a Vietnam Veteran, like myself. We were not treated with a homecoming. We were spit on and called baby killers by a misguided public. Brian’s uncle was giving him the respect that he, himself, never received when he came back and I, for one, am proud of him for doing so.

You say that your brother is a deputy in another Missouri county. I am sure he would be proud to escort the casket of a fallen solder, the same as he would that of a fallen officer. I am also sure he would not agree with your complaint about being inconvenienced.

My mother recently passed away. She was a World War II Veteran, serving the U.S. Army. She would say, maybe you should pick up Sergeant Woods’ ruck sack and carry on where he left off. Then you could see first hand what it really is to be inconvenienced.

Per your request, I will forward your complaint to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for his review. It is my personal opinion that your complaint is self-serving and without merit.

Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer

The woman’s e-mail would have been less maddening, I think, if it weren’t so gosh-darned sad. The perspective she holds, though, I think is fairly representative of the American political left. At least those on Capitol Hill. Just as this woman dared suggest outwardly that she was supportive of the military while simultaneously unable to provide enough respect as to say a prayer and move along, so many Democrats tell America that they support our troops while at the same time making their lives more difficult or even putting their lives in danger.

Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, if you recall, famously disparaged our brave fighting men and women, giving what he later [unsuccessfully] tried to portray as a “botched joke” at Pasadena City College. “Education — if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well,” said Kerry. “If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” The “botched joke” prompted a truly funny and poignant response from our troops.

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, for example, responded to a piece of Republican-sponsored amendment to a hate crimes bill intended to protect those who are victimized because of their service by arguing that veterans are not “real victims.”

Don’t forget Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha, who in May 2006 took a few minutes away from securing billions in pork in order to describe United States Marines as “murderous” and state that they “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” before an investigation had even been conducted.

And, of course, there’s Nancy Pelosi, who actually placed our troops’ lives in danger in October of 2006 by renewing, for no reason whatsoever other than shameless party politics, the decades-old discussion of legislation which would have officially recognized the 1915 Turkish slaughter of Armenians as “genocide.” The Turks became offended, pulled their Ambassador from Washington, D.C., and threatened to suspend overflight and supply line privileges, critical for troop operations and safety during the height of the Iraq War, for good.

And then there was this exchange between Sen. Barbara Boxer and a Brigadier General:

I’d like to think that, in Washington, not a single elected official actually wants to see American servicemen and servicewomen dead. I’d like to think that, when they first unfold The New York Times and see an account of troop deaths, that politics is the furthest thing from their mind.

Even if that is the case, there’s a certain respect for our troops that is lacking among liberals. They cannot fathom the selflessness required to join. They cannot fathom the personal strength required to train. They cannot fathom the bold courage required to serve. In fact, the characteristics of your average military member–courage, faithfulness, strength, self-reliance, selflessness and more–spell death for a political agenda based upon obfuscation, lies, and determination to force reliance upon the government upon the American people.

It makes me sad that there are people out there like the woman who composed the complaint to her county sheriff. What’s even worse, though, is that the same type of people inhabit the halls and offices of our Capitol and capital city.

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Comments

  1. Heather says:

    Jeff, I enjoy your blog and appreciate that you maintain it. But on this one, you may have missed something:
    I'm guessing the main reason she sent this complaint was because a man screamed into her car. Whatever her political views are, there are many law enforcement officers who abuse their positions. Have you ever been yelled at by a cop, when you're not aware you're doing anything wrong? It gives you a terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach and you fell helpless and embarrassed. And you want some way to retaliate and/or justify yourself, though you can't because you're in the weaker position. I imagine she wrote the email when emotions were still high.

    My opinion, the gentlemen should have shown her a little respect as well, by speaking kindly before yelling. A gentle word turns away wrath.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Jeff, for putting this piece up on AR. I knew this would go National when I first heard it on my local radio station ( I live in an adjacent county). I just don't get it. What is wrong with people?? What if that were her son?

    MsPatt
    St. Francois Co., MO

  3. Anonymous says:

    I salute Sergeant 1st Class William B. Woods, AND Sheriff Boyer.

  4. Bodenzee says:

    This woman is the poster child for re-instituting the draft of war fighting (not Obama social force) people; all able bodied males, and also all able bodied females.

    Then, the population will acquire an understanding of what it takes to defend this nation against outside enemies.

    Today, sadly, we need an analagous force to defend us against internally located traitors.

  5. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Heather,

    I understand where you're coming from. But if she was so indignant and ignorant as to mention several times about traffic and such, something tells me that she wasn't as pleasant as she might otherwise have suggested.

    Jeff

  6. Starys says:

    From reading and rereading her complaint I do not think the men that were yelling at her were officers. The "renegade" bikers she refers to are probably members of the patriot guard riders.
    http://www.patriotguard.org/

    Most of them, that I have seen, look just like what they are, bikers. If one of them were to get off their bike and yell at me I would be shaking too. I probably would complain too.

    She states that she didn't realize that the procession was for a fallen soldier. I don't see how she was being disrectful when she didn't even know what was going on. I do however see how these men were possibly disrectful to her.

    Maybe she wasn't as pleasant as she could have been, maybe they weren't either.

  7. Chuck in San Diego says:

    I don't know if anyone saw this video. Killed in action the week before, the body of Sergeant First Class John C. Beale was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, on June 11, 2009. The Henry County Police Department escorted the procession to the funeral home in McDonough, Georgia. A simple notice in local papers indicated the road route to be taken and the approximate time.

    http://e.blip.tv/scripts/flash/showplayer.swf?file=http://blip.tv/rss/flash/2257594

    I'm sure there were individuals along this procession like the ignorant woman you highlighted. But we must remember that the people who hold dear those who have given the ultimate sacrifice probably outnumber the likes of the self-centered woman to the tune of at least a thousand to one. We have to face it – there will always be a whiner.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a disrespectfully, self centered woman. American people have no concept of what, who, or why we're fighting world wide. Nor do they have any idea that Islamic…yes folks, ISLAMIC wars last for centuries, and can go on indefinitely, e.g. Bosnia and Kosovo are still being fought. There's no middle, we either fight or surrender to Islamo-fascism.

  9. La Muse Poetique says:

    I'm going to have to agree with Heather too.

    While she wasn't being completely respectful most likely, she states she didn't know what was going on and that she was obeying all traffic signs and notices.

    If that truly is the case, I don't think you can really fault her for this letter.

  10. Rix says:

    Respect for our troops, my elephant! The libtards have no respect for anything short of their own bloated selves. Some people move from barbarism right to decadence, somehow missing the civilization phase in between.

  11. Moonbeam says:

    Two Worlds Collide. My Rights vs What's Right. This is Americas problem today in a nut shell.

    There was a day when a man would open a door for a lady. Thanks to many women, they can no more. I miss that. I also miss the good common respect we had for one another.

    This woman felt her rights were somewhat violated and made a mountain out of a mole hill. I am a woman and I understand this woman's tirade. Her rights were to be respected, She started a mental program immediately to see every little detail that wronged her.

    That's where the phrase "The Devils in the Details" comes from.
    Shame on her for not showing any grace under fire.

  12. SUCH DICHOTOMY says:

    Paris Hilton was immortalized this week when the new edition of the "Oxford Book of Quotations" hit shelves, and her contribution wasn't simply "That's hot."

    The book includes her quote: "Dress cute wherever you go, life is too short to blend in."

  13. Gail B says:

    As an abused woman, she probably had a knee-jerk reaction.

    I agree with the sheriff, but I can also see the deer's eyes in the headlights.

    The realization hit me about the disrespected Vietnam veterans when I was grocery shopping years ago. There had been a sale on ground chuck, but it had sold out. I asked the butcher if there was any more in the back. That's when I noticed his badly bloodshot left eye. He said that the meat had sold completely out.

    I asked him about his eye, and he said he'd gotten shrapnel in it while in Vietnam. Well, I was sorry about that and hoped it didn't bother him today, and I thanked him for his service to our country and protecting my family and two sons, and for fighting in my place–to keep me from having to be there.

    He looked absolutely shocked! "Just a minute," he told me. He returned with ten pounds of ground steak marked at the sale price of the chuck. "You don't know how much I appreciate being thanked for serving in Vietnam," he explained. "Most people would rather spit on us."

    I really, really hate war. As a child whose uncle was in battles in the headlines and newsreels at the movies, I was always afraid that one day someone would tell me that he'd been shot and killed.

    Police and other law enforcement officers, firefighters, active military and veterans, THANK YOU for your bravery, your service, and for our freedom.

  14. Heather says:

    I myself am in the Marine Corps. I have family that served in Vietnam and, as you can imagine, hundreds of friends in the military as well. However, why is it that so many people now assume that because we're in the military, we can act like assholes and get away with it because we did what no one else would do? I would probably be just as upset were I in this woman's position. Not because of traffic being held up. After all, even if they weren't occassionally blocking other lanes, there would be the gawkers and traffic would suck anyways. It's expected.

    However, it is not expected for people to drive recklessly because they're involved in a procession. I'd be angered about that too. I don't know what I'd do if it was my family member in that casket. I'd be distraught. But I can guarantee I'd be giving hell to my family if I found out they yelled at someone who blocked an intersection for a road that wasn't blocked off and she should havebeen able to drive through. Are you telling me that had my brother or husband(who is also a Marine) died and a procession was being held, that me or my friends have the right to drive recklessly and put others in danger or to yell at someone? That's what freedom's come down to now.

    People in the military are expecting respect no matter what they're doing. I watch so many people who hold so much respect at work, go out on the weekend and make a stupid decision then are upset when they're expected to take the consequences to go with it. And not only that, but others look down on the command for in fact making him deal with the consequences.

    This is the same type situation. She was upset that although it is someone's spouse, father, son, grandson, etc… that the people in the procession were expecting to go without consequences because they got tossed in a crappy situation and lossed someone they love. I'll remember that if I lose my husband in combat, that I'm an exempt from treated others with respect, because, after all, he's Marine and I deserve to be able to do whatever I want when dealing with grief of a dead military family member.

  15. Linda says:

    I was born and raised not far from the area where this occurred. Now you know why I left the suburbs of St. Louis 42 years ago.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I ALWAYS pull over and stop with my head bowed for a funeral procession out of repect, military or not, those that have passed on and their families deserve to block roads anytime and anywhere. The scenarios she listed were also ridiculous. I don't know of any officer, daycare or boss that wouldn't have helped her if she had been in one of those situations. God bless Sergeant Woods and his family.

    Sally

  17. Jan says:

    Thing is, she knew it was a funeral as she stated such. Whether it be a soldier or someone else there use to be respect for a funeral procession. That is to be no more….
    As for the Patriot Guard, God bless them! When my cousin was killed in Iraq in 2006 there were almost 200 of them that showed up for his funeral. Why? Because the members of a certain church felt it their responsibility to come out against war. These "bikers" held flags and provided the respect so many others would not. For all soldiers past and present I offer my heartfelt thanks and even more for those who won't.

  18. MrX says:

    Reading the complaint, she's not talking about the funeral procession, but that bikers were disorderly and screaming at her. She's also complaining that the bikers were stopping people in the other lanes and messing around well behind the procession.

    The Sheriff completely missed the point on this one. He's basically saying that everything that the soldier fought for is pointless because the civilian population no longer can expect better treatment than the Taliban since apparently, that's what it really means to be inconvenienced. I understand the point he was trying to make, but he just spit on that soldier's grave.

  19. Claudia says:

    We have a large contingent of Patriot Guard in the Reno-Sparks area of Nevada, and YES, sometimes they are a bit grubby and outspoken, but they truly are the most thoughtful ad considerate of people most of the time, to ANYONE.

    They attend almost all of the homecomings and especially all of the dead being brought home an they take/follow them to whatever cemetary they are supposed to go to, be it 5 miles away or 200 miles away. They have a toy run for kids and give scholarships to a lot of those that have parents or a parent who was either KIA or hurt so seriously that they are unable to perform many of the things a parent might do. Sometimes those Patriot Guard are big brothers to some of those kids of KIA.

    YOu know, maybe this woman was having a bad day and her nasty disposition just globbed onto this funeral procession as tool for whatever they day had done to her. Attitudes are catchy things and the men that came up to her car probably already read the disapproval in her demeanor, voice and eyes, and reacted in kind.

    I have to interject a memory here, brought up by yesterdays comments that I made about my Dad's funeral. I stated that my Dad died one month before Kennedy. When it was time for his funeral procession, they didn't have much as far as protocol in those days, other than the funeral procssion that followed the body to the Cemetary. My Dad's was about 5 miles and down through the side of town and around a park that was well used and very popular. I worked at a place called Mar's Drive-In as a cahop and somehow, word got out that my Dad's procession was going to go right by the Drive-In. All of my regular customers, many of whom were Hell's Angels and bikers, remember this was in 63, just at the start of the build-up in Nam, well, they were all sitting at that Drive-In waiting for us to all go by, with their lights on, and when the few cars we had went by, they joined in and followed. They knew waht my Dad had gone through, he had brain cancer and that he would have gone to war back in WWII if he were able, so they put their flags up on the backs of their bikes and followed, only to the Cemetary gate, but it was such an appreciated gesture, even my Mom and some other close family and friends understood what it meant to me.

    Maybe that woman has never had anyone close to her that has died, and for that reason, doesn't understand how much those little gestures (such as the followers in the Patriot Guard) mean to the family of a deceased. I know that whenever I come across a funeral procession, no matter who it was that died, I go reverently by and would NEVER EVER raise a stink about anything anyone might do in that procession. The dead deserve every courtesy possible, no matter who it was or the circumstancs of their death.

    As a side note, I took the following week off of work after my Dad's funeral and went back to work on Halloween. Every person that was in the parking lot called me over to their car and gave me a piece of candy and a hug. Those Hell's Angels provided more heart than some of the relatives did that came to the funeral, at least to me, it seemed that way. I guess some of it was because my Dad's death was a relief to them, because he was so sick, but to a 17year old gal, it was totally devastating, and my customers knew the me that was that devastated kid.

  20. Leah says:

    There are two cemeteries on the way to picking up my kids from school. More than several times there have been funerals that have gone by. I have no idea who they were taking to be buried. I waited on the side of the street for them to pass. I was once yelled at by a police office to turn right off the street so the hearse could go by. (It had come up from behind me, and they wanted to clear the street.) I turned right and waited for the whole procession to go by before attempting to get back onto the road.

    I accidentally got into a funeral procession when I was crossing the Verrazano Bridge a few weeks ago while visiting in NY. I was mortified that I hadn't noticed the lights, and there were no officers directing traffic away. (I guess it is different up in NY and down here in the South.) The point I am trying to bring up is that SHE KNEW it was a funeral. From the letter it seems like she might have even got mixed into it by accident. But instead of pulling over or pulling out or turning off the road, she is belly aching about all the hoopla going on. How could she not feel mortified and embarrassed for interrupting a sacred moment? Where is the common decency that you show to the dead and the bereaved? This woman is a low life with no sense of respect for anyone, least of all herself.

  21. Anonymous says:

    amazing how many times this woman almost had a car accident trying to cut off a funeral procession.

    reminds me of this newspaper tale:

    A letter to the Editor;

    Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show?

    Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune!

    Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns' early-bird special?

    Any response would be appreciated.

    Tom MacRae, Peoria3

    Four days later, the newpaper also published a reponse from Lt. Col. Pleus himself:
    Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke's jets":

    On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt Jeremy Fresques.

    Capt.

    Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.

    At 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.

    Based on the letter writer's recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the president of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

    A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

    The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?"

    The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

    Lt. Col. Scott Pleus
    Luke Air Force Base5
    To his credit, the complainant, Mr. MacRae, tendered a written apology which was published in The Republic on 9 July:
    Regarding "Flyby honoring fallen comrade" (Letters, June 28):

    I read with increasing embarrassment and humility the response to my unfortunate letter to The Republic concerning an Air Force flyby ("A wake-up call from Luke's jets," Letters, June 23).

    I had no idea of the significance of the flyby, and would never have insulted such a fine and respectful display had I known.

    I have received many calls from the fine airmen who are serving or have served at Luke, and I have attempted to explain my side and apologized for any discomfort my letter has caused.

    This was simply an uninformed citizen complaining about noise.

    I have been made aware in both written and verbal communications of the four-ship flyby, and my heart goes out to each and every lost serviceman and woman in this war in which we are engaged.

    I have been called un-American by an unknown caller and I feel that I must address that. I served in the U.S. Navy and am a Vietnam veteran. I love my country and respect the jobs that the service organizations are doing.

    Please accept my heartfelt apologies.

    Tom MacRae, Peoria6

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/wakeup.asp

  22. GATOR-1 says:

    This is the hardest story for me to comment on since I began reading here. I guess it is because I can see both sides of this.

    I don't think this lady was being very pleasant during her altercation with the Bikers as Jeff has said. I do however feel she had every right to write the letter. Many have defended that right as many here have pointed out. I refuse to give her labels or call her names because if everything she wrote was true her rights were infringed upon Funeral or not.

    I used the word Bikers because the Sheriff did not say it was the Patriot Riders although I'm thinking it probably was. I have great respect for those folks and what they do. I have wittnessed their actions when that "church" group has shown up at Soldier's funerals. They are a Blessing to us all.

    But if the State law says only the one lane shall be closed for a funeral then they had no right to force her to stop in the other lane, nor did they have the right to scream at her. If all she wrote is in fact true these riders were a traffic hazard no matter what their intentions were.

    We here do not have enough facts to really be calling it either way. The rider who was screaming at her may well have been that Soldiers Uncle as was mentioned and I can understand his frustration. But just because it seems she lacked any respect we can not simply assume she is a lefty or anything for that matter. We only know she felt inconvenienced enough to exercise her right to write to the Sheriff about it.

    I feel the Sheriff should have addressed the issue of a traffic hazard in his response,either there was one or there wasn't one. His defense of the Soldier was admirable but his job is to be unbiased and uphold the law, not to bash citizens that may have ligament complaints.

    Personally I pull over for all funeral processions if traffic allows it to be done safely.

    I can only speak for myself as a Veteran and for those whom I know feel the same. We served for all but we neither demand nor expect any special treatment for our service.There are plenty others in our society who "serve" the public and our country without ever putting on a Military uniform, IMO those folks deserve the same respect given to servicemen and women. If a special thanks is given for our Military service it is greatly appreciated but not demanded and in this day and age not even expected by most.

    I hope I have not offended anyone by trying to walk the fence on this one. I really can see both sides and simply do not have enough hard evidence to call it either way.

    On a side-note, The building in the background of the Kerry pic was the very building that was my office while I was in Iraq. I think it is very cool every time I see that Pic.

    BLESSINGS PATRIOTS…

  23. Anonymous says:

    She claims she "didn't know there was a funeral for a fallen soldier", but come on! it was all over the news! Like, I practically couldn't turn on my TV without seeing something about this procession for Sgt. Woods. And even so I would still stand up and salute every time it came on because anyone who doesn't is unamerican and hates this great glorious country and the military and has absolutely no respect for the armed forces.
    This is the kind of lady who only has 1 flag hanging from her house and doesn't wake up saying the pledge of allegiance every morning. Heck, she probably don't even know all the words to the Star-Spangled Banner! The fact that people like this exist just makes me ill…

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