Saturday, March 18, 2006

Goddamn Heroes

From the Hutchinson News:

After almost 34 years, Tom Angell still chokes on his words recalling the moment he returned to the U.S. after fighting in Vietnam.

"They threw eggs at us," Angell said of the anti-war protesters who met his return flight after serving as a combat military policeman.

Since January, Angell has been part of the Patriot Guard Riders, who were first organized in August 2005....

According to Terry "Darkhorse" Houck, the Patriot Guard Riders formed in Kansas when a few friends in Mulvane heard members of Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, were planning to protest the funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq. Church members oppose an army that represents a country that accepts homosexuality.

"That had to have been the most fantastic thing I had seen in a long time," said Linda Klaus, the mother of Sgt. Jessie Davila, speaking of the Patriot Guard's presence at her son's Dodge City funeral March 4.

For Angell, this is the first bit of unity the 55-year-old has felt since he returned from Vietnam in July 1972.

"I realized I can do something to make the families feel better at the worst time of their life," he said softly.

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