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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These riders have my utmost respect. I wish was off on Saturday.


From the Daytona Beach News Journal:

October 13, 2006

Protesters target medic's funeral

Controversial Kansas church group coming

By PATRICIO G. BALONA
Staff Writer
Men and women of the Patriot Guard Riders have one main mission: Show respect for soldiers killed in war and shield the mourning families and friends from protesters.

On Saturday, the men and women of this national motorcyclists organization will be in Orange City to serve as a buffer between the family of Spc. Angelo Vaccaro and protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Vaccaro, a 23-year-old Army medic from Deltona was killed Oct. 2 while trying to rescue fellow soldiers wounded in an ambush in Afghanistan. He will be laid to rest at Deltona Memorial Gardens at 1295 Saxon Blvd. in Orange City.

"We honor these fallen heroes by creating a line of our members standing with 3-by-5 (foot) flags and do our best to ensure that the family is not disturbed," said Bobbie Bilotta, the Patriot Guard Riders Florida State Captain. "If possible we do not let the family be seen by the group."

The funeral has attracted the attention of the Topeka church group, which, according to its Web site, "adhere to the teachings of the Bible and preaches against all form of sin (e.g., fornication, adultery, sodomy)."

On Thursday, Shirley Phelps-Roper, an attorney and member of the church, confirmed that 10 members will come to Orange City to picket Vaccaro's funeral. The church is not protesting the Iraq or Afghanistan war but the nation's disobedience to God, Phelps-Roper said.

"It is a curse when the child comes home dead from battle," Phelps-Roper said. "War is the mechanism God is using to punish and will use to destroy this nation.

"We will be on the public right of way with our signs that say God hates ****, Thank God for dead soldiers and Thank God for IEDs," Phelps-Roper said.

Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten said by telephone that he is familiar with the "profane and abusive" signs the church group uses. He said he sent a letter of apology to Orange City law enforcement after learning of the group's plans.

"To our friends in Orange City, we want them to know that this group of people does not represent our city or the values of our citizens in any way," Bunten said. "They carry lewd signs that are abusive and profane to people who disagree with them. I want the mayor and the police to know that they can take whatever action necessary to protect the peace in their city."

It is not yet clear how Orange City officials will handle the situation, but Florida law states that persons who interrupt or disturb a military funeral commit a first-degree misdemeanor.

Orange City police Sgt. Jason Sampsell said officers who are on vacation have been asked to report for duty in uniform on Saturday. Ten Florida Highway Patrol troopers are expected to help with traffic, Sampsell said, acknowledging his department had heard from Bunten.

The Sheriff's Office will provide deputies to escort the family from their homes to the funeral service, said sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught.


The Patriot Guard Riders started in early August of 2005 with the American Legion Riders chapter 136 from Kansas. They were appalled to hear that a fallen hero's memory was being tarnished by "misguided religious zealots who were protesting at funerals," according to the organization's Web site.

"We are strictly legal and nonviolent, in other words: We ignore them," Bilotta said. "They only see our backs."

[email protected]
 

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I've started working PT 5 days a week, instead of 2, in addition to my FT job or I would have done an escort from the STL airport towards Hannibel last night and a funeral this morning just a few miles away.

The PGR is an amazing group of people.:flg: I've gained a lot of respect for riders of other brands through my experience with the PGR.
 

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I ride my first PGR tomorrow in Montgomery, Al. I'm sadden by the fact that there's a ride. However, I'm honored to be able to do so little for a family that has given so much.
 

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The Amish in Nickel Mine, PA tore down the school where the five young girls were killed, and five others injured. I guess they wanted to get rid of the visual reminder of what had happened. Seems like a lot of bad things are happening in that church in Kansas, and maybe it should be torn down. How can they be such idiots.
 

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Roy,

Thanks for letting us know about this. I just joined the PGR and will make the ride down to Deltona in the morning.

Bartman
 

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Doing a little research about who these nuts are and why they are protesting, I do not understand how and why this lunatic has stayed out of prison. Still don't know who is funding them. The church is Fred Phelps and his immediate family. All are lawyers and some are on welfare. Here is a good History of who they are and what they are about. Long. Essentially it's all about homosexuals. Makes me wonder if maybe he wasn't engaged in some kind of homosexual life style once upon a time and this is his penance in his twisted mind.

http://www.adherents.com/people/pp/Fred_Phelps.html
 

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I joined the PGR 2 days ago my name is Larry Moore and live in SW Missouri. I will ride with anyone for anybody to show my respect to there family and friends. I survived Viet Nam now I will ride for the fallen. Let no man come between me and his family or my country......Ride safe
 

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SPF 0 said:
Wait, that's not a local funeral.
It's local for Roy and those of us in the North/Central Florida area. Just because it's not local to you, doesn't mean it's not local to someone else.

Bartman
 

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I just want folks to know...its MORE than riding in funeral's...we also visit Hospital's and also...WELCOME HOME'S...just my thoughts in case folks thought it was only funerals...
 

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Lucky Phil said:
The Amish in Nickel Mine, PA tore down the school where the five young girls were killed, and five others injured. I guess they wanted to get rid of the visual reminder of what had happened. Seems like a lot of bad things are happening in that church in Kansas, and maybe it should be torn down. How can they be such idiots.
It kinda makes me ashamed to be in the same state as those.......those....I can't use the words I have for them in this post.
 
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dtbmjax - aka Bartman said:
It's local for Roy and those of us in the North/Central Florida area. Just because it's not local to you, doesn't mean it's not local to someone else.

Bartman
I see. It's a comparative.

Now I understand; thank you for your time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SPF 0,

I don't understand either of your posts. Can you elaborate on what you mean?
 

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When people are willing to ride hundreds of miles, or through a couple of states, to attend the funeral of a fallen soldier and their family, the term 'local' takes on a unique meaning. Kinda like a Winger going to a 'local' BBQ joint even though it's in another time zone.

My first 'ride' was over 300 cold miles to Clarksville, TN last January to stand with 4 others for over an hour before returning home. It was a very long, cold day, but it made a huge impact on my life.

Click on the link below to view the funeral of Riley Baker, Pacific, MO. There was a 7 mile procession where they closed two major highways in St. Louis around noon during the week. I'm in picture Dsc00445 carrying my flag with my 14 yo daughter walking behind me. The protesters were on the other side of the 2 lane road, seperated from us by police cars from many municipalities.

http://patriotguard.org/photos/listpics ... ific%2C+Mo

I'm damn proud to ride my Wing along side the Harleys and few other Goldwingers I've had the pleasure to meet. These are some great people who are willing to give up a lot so others aren't treated the way they, and their friends were when they returned.
 

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It is such a small price for me to pay to honor the supreme sacrifice this young man and his family made. I will be there and each time I go I come away with a new understanding about the price of freedom and the dedication these young men and women show for this country
 

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I can't even describe how proud I was of just being there for LT Lyons and his Family.

It brings a tear to my eyes just thinking about all the great members of the PGR and what an Honor it was to shake the hands of those young men that protect me and my family.


God protect & watch over our Soldiers :flg: :flg: :flg: :flg:
 
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