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Take a moment and compare the news brief below with the last article posted on this blog, about the Marine Corps Body Bearers. Westboro Baptist Church, and its founder, Fred Phelps, are known for protesting at the funeral of America’s servicemen. This group had the insensitivity to protest at the funeral of St. Joseph Missouri Native, Army Spc. Edward L. Myers, who was killed in Samarra, Iraq when an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) detonated near his Humvee. Imagine the pain and suffering Myer’s family were forced to endure. Not only had they lost their son (who died serving his country) they were also forced to tolerate a group of people holding signs in support of the very ones who killed him.
Marines Corps Body bearers, featured in the last post, treat the mortal remains of deceased service members with the respect and dignity they deserve and one which resonates with the majority of Americans. Westboro Baptist Church, on the other hand, is allowed to dishonor American Heroes, because of freedom of speech. Isn’t there something very wrong about this? What will our young people think if we continue to allow our heroes to be treated in such a way? Is freedom of speech so absolute that it trumps the dignity and sacredness of a last tribute to someone who died for his country? And tramples on the sorrow and pain of his grieving family and friends?
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Washington (CNN) — Missouri’s tight restrictions on protests and picketing outside military funerals were tossed out by a federal judge Monday, over free speech concerns.
A small Kansas church had brought suit over its claimed right to loudly march outside the burials and memorial services of those killed in overseas conflicts. The state legislature had passed a law to keep members of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church from demonstrating within 300 feet of such private services.
To read more click here.
However, this Marine had a little help, from above, and from a very good mother.
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Wounded Marine from Adams County ready to return to unit
By KATHARINE HARMON
July 25–Lt. Nathan Jeffcoat, of Orrtanna, didn’t always want to be a U.S. Marine, but it’s safe to say it’s something that runs in his blood.
After being hit by an improvised explosive device, IED, in Afghanistan on June 30 and traveling back to the states, doctors went looking for him in his hospital room to do physical therapy, and the platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines was nowhere to be found.
Turns out, in true commander fashion, he had escaped and made his way through a quarantined hospital area to check on one of his men who had been injured two weeks before him, and was still in the hospital.
Jeffcoat knows he’s a lucky man, a lucky Marine…
“He’s really, really lucky,” [his mother] Sue said, as she watched her son.
She breaks the eye contact to say she tells him all the time it’s because of the number of times she said the rosary for him, and all the prayers.
When he came back, the only things he had on him where his dog tags, watch, St. Christopher’s medallion and his rosary.
“Pray pray pray,” Sue Jeffcoat said.
That’s how they got through this, and that’s how they’ll get through it during the next tour.
To read the complete story about this tough Marine and his mother click HERE.
by: Sgt. Mark Fayloga
SOUTHERN SHORSURAK, Afghanistan (July 12, 2010) — Cpl. Matt Garst should be dead.
Few people survive stepping on an improvised explosive device. Even fewer walk away the same day after directly absorbing the force of the blast, but Garst did just that.
A squad leader with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Garst was leading his squad on a patrol in Southern Shorsurak, Afghanistan, June 23 to establish a vehicle checkpoint in support of Operation New Dawn.
The men were four miles from Lima Company’s newly established observation post when they approached an abandoned compound close to where they needed to set up their checkpoint. It would serve well as an operating base — a place for the squad to set up communications and rotate Marines in and out of. But first, it had to be secured.
As they swept the area with a metal detector, the IED registered no warning on the device. The bomb was buried too deep and its metallic signature too weak. Two men walked over it without it detonating.”
At six feet, two inches tall and 260 pounds with all his gear on, Garst is easily the largest man in his squad by 30 or 40 pounds — just enough extra weight to trigger the IED buried deep in hard-packed soil.
Lance Cpl. Edgar Jones, a combat engineer with the squad, found a pressure plate inside the compound and hollered to Garst, asking what he should do with it. Garst turned around to answer the Marine and stepped on the bomb.
“I can just barely remember the boom,” Garst said. “I remember the start of a loud noise and then I blacked out…” When he came to, he was standing on his feet holding his weapon, turning to see the remnants of the blast and wondering why his squad had a look on their faces as if they’d seen a ghost.
Marines in Lima Company think Garst is the luckiest guy in the battalion, and while that may seem a fair assessment, it was the enemy’s shoddy work that left Garst standing. The three-liters of homemade explosive only partially detonated.
Marines who witnessed the event from inside the compound caught glimpses of Garst’s feet flailing through the air just above the other side of the building’s eight-foot walls. The explosion knocked him at least fifteen feet away where he landed on his limp head and shoulders before immediately standing back up.”
Not quite sure of what had just happened, Garst turned back toward the blast, now nothing but a column of dirt and smoke rising toward the sun.
“My first thought was, ‘ I just hit an IED,’” he said. “Then I thought, ‘Well I’m standing. That’s good.’”
Read more by clicking here.