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Help Protect Fallen Soldier's Funeral

There are a few twists to this story so please read the whole post, and, if you are a resident in Indiana or know residents in Indiana, you can help

Sergeant Rickey Jones' gave his life protecting us, the least we can do is help protect his family.

Craig sends this story about Sergeant Rickey Jones, who was killed in Iraq, and who's house in Kokomo, Indiana, was vandalized.

Dead soldier's home vandalized
David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Kokomo, February 27 - For the family who lives in a modest home in Kokomo, the fatal Iraq attack came last week.

Then the attack at home followed.

Vandals defaced the home of Sgt. Rickey Jones' family. Eggs were thrown and flags were stolen. Sgt. Jones, a Kokomo High School graduate, was one four soldier's with the 101st killed west of Baghdad last week.

So who, one week before his burial in his hometown, would vandalize a fallen hero's house?

Neighbor Robyn Ousley is at a loss to explain. "I have no idea, somebody pretty, pretty awful."

Another friend, Bill Swaggerty, says there is more than vandalism for the family to deal with. They're calling here and saying, 'I'm glad your son is dead' and it's wrong."

The family's neighbors have closed ranks, bringing food and flying flags at half-staff. All are signs of respect for Sgt. Jones...

Euphoric Reality has an address where you can send cards to the Jones family. 

But vandalism is not the only problem facing the Jones family.  Unfortunately, it seems that Fred Phelps is coming to Kokomo to protest at Rickey's funeral:

But there is a threat of disrespect from out of state.

The same Kansas church group that has been picketing soldier's funerals around the U.S. and Indiana will be in Kokomo too. The group claims U.S. soldier deaths are punishment for U.S. tolerance of gays.

Kokomo Police will have extra security and are running extra patrols at the house. Swaggerty, a veteran himself, says he convinced Rickey Jones to join up. He can't believe Sgt. Jones' memory would be attacked in this way. "It's wrong. He would come home on leave. His friends (were) very respectful to my wife and my family. He was a very good kid."

Swaggerty supports a move in the legislature to keep protesters back from military   funerals.

Neighbor Ousley agrees. "He just went over there for us. I think it is   awful."

Services for Sgt. Jones are set for next Monday. In the meantime Kokomo Police have increased patrols around his family's house.

I know that some people like Craig are going to go to Kokomo for the funeral to support SGT Jones' family and community.  I'll send more details as I get them.

Also, Todd G. sends that the Indiana legislature has passed a bill banning protests at funerals.

Funeral protest bill passed

By Bill Ruthhart

bill.rutthart@indystar.com

The Indiana House this morning passed a bill that would make disorderly conduct within 500 feet of a funeral a felony.  Senate Bill 5, which the House passed 92-0, is aimed to prevent ongoing protests by a Kansas-based church at the funerals of Indiana soldiers. The Westboro Baptist Church has protested at military funerals across the country, saying soldiers are dying because the U.S. supports gays.

If Gov. Mitch Daniels signs the bill, it would become effective immediately.

Okay, Governor Daniels, SIGN THE BILL!!!

If you live in Indiana, here is the contact form for the governor.  Or you can call Governor Daniels' office at  317-232-4567.  Politely ask that Governor Daniels sign the bill this week in order to prevent the protest or get these 'people' arrested.

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