By Nancy K. Matthis | Sunday, March 5th, 2006 at 2:35 pm
Sgt. Rickey Jones, an American soldier from the city of Kokomo, Indiana, was fatally wounded in Iraq on February 22 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HumVee. From the Kokomo Tribune:
February 23, 2006
Kokomo soldier killed in Iraq
Sgt. Rickey Jones remembered as a good soldier
Kokomo High School class of 2002 has lost another classmate in Iraq.
The family of Rickey Jones, 21, a sergeant with the Armyâ€™s 101st Airborne Division, said they were notified Wednesday evening.
Jones was among four soldiers from the 101st, based in Fort Campbell, Ky., killed Wednesday when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, the military command said.
Ronnie Jones, the soldierâ€™s grandfather, said his grandson was a loving person and the pride of his family.
The local veterans who understood his sacrifice paid tribute. From the City of Kokomo website:
February 24, 2006 – In honor of Sgt. Rickey Jones, a Kokomo soldier who was fatally wounded in Iraq, Mayor Matt McKillip, VFW Post 1152 Commander John Ayres, and the Howard County Veterans Council are asking that area residents and businesses lower their flags to half staff effective immediately.
“Our hearts go out to Sgt. Jones’ family and friends,” stated Mayor McKillip. “Sgt. Jones made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. We as a community join his family in mourning this brave young man and will keep them in our prayers during this extremely difficult time.”
Flags should remain at half staff until midnight on the day of the funeral. Arrangements are pending.
When news of his death reached the general populace, vandals attacked the home of his family. From yesterday’s Stars & Stripes newsletter:
Call, vandalism spur increased security for soldier’s funeral
By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Saturday, March 4, 2006
WASHINGTON â€” Police in a central Indiana town will boost security at the funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq after his family had eggs thrown at their home and received a phone call from someone who told them, â€œIâ€™m glad your son is dead.â€
Sgt. Rickey Jones, of the 101st Airborne Division, was one of four soldiers killed Feb. 22 in Hawijah when an improvised explosive device went off near their Humvee.
Over the next few days, his family found garbage strewn on their property, had eggs smashed on their house and received the phone call, according to the Kokomo Police Department….
The funeral is scheduled for tomorrow (Monday). Plans to picket the funeral have been announced by the Westboro Baptist Church, which makes protesting at fallen soldiers’ funerals a primary objective. Most news releases simply refer to this group as a Baptist church. The fact is that it is a family-based cult, whose entire membership is comprised of the founder and the families of nine of his thirteen children, plus a handful of families who have married into the clan. It is not recognized by any official Baptist organization, and is monitored as a “hate group” by the authorities. Members have an extensive arrest record. All members live in a fortified compound:
The Westboro facility is organized as a fortified compound, made up of ten homes organized in a block at 3701 SW 12th Street in Topeka. The house in the center of the compound belongs to Phelps Sr., the basement of which serves as the church “meeting hall” (as he refers to it). The other nine houses were once occupied by non-congregants, who moved away either on their own initiative or as a result of not wanting to live near Phelps Sr. and Westboro, and are now occupied by the families of Phelps Sr.’s nine children still associated with Westboro. The properties are encircled by a specially designed, extra-thick ten foot tall security fence with picketed tops.
Veterans from all over America are pouring into Kokomo to attend tomorrow’s funeral. The local police have urged the veterans not to physically engage the protesters:
On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill to make disorderly conduct within 500 feet of a funeral or funeral procession a felony, in response to the protestersâ€™ impending visit. Violators can face up to three years in prison….
Whitehead [Lt. Don Whitehead, spokesman for the Kokomo Police Department] said city officials expect only a handful of protesters at Mondayâ€™s funeral, but several hundred veterans and other supporters have also notified the department theyâ€™ll be in town. A large procession carrying Jonesâ€™ body to a local church, then to a nearby cemetery is scheduled to travel through town Monday morning.
Police held a news conference Friday to ask supporters not to engage or fight with the Westboro protesters, and instead provide a respectful and peaceful tribute to Jones.
A groundswell of support for the bereaved family has developed in the Blogosphere. Initially, there were posts describing the vandalism:
- Euphoric Reality, a blog written by two lady vets
There are some sick people in the world. Soldiers or their bereaved families have had to endure these kinds of attacks ever since Vietnam….
- BlackFive joined in.
….Sergeant Rickey Jones’ gave his life protecting us, the least we can do is help protect his family….
- Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler posted:
….SGT Jones gave his life for all of us, and we shall never forget his sacrifice, nor will we stand idly by while idle scum disrespect it and offer nothing but pain where sympathy, gratitude and respect is called for….
- And A Soldier’s Perspective called for support for the family, organized by the bloggers. This weblog is hosting the link list for the bloggers.
I am trying to help organize a letter writing campaign to the family of SGT Rickey Jones. As you may have read earlier, their home was vandalized by idiots who wouldnâ€™t understand patriotism if it flew a plane through their bedroom window.
If you own a blog, please post this effort….
- Gribbit’s Word is cross-posting the link list and discussion thread:
I am trying to help organize a letter writing campaign to the family of SGT Rickey Jones….The good people over at Operation Military Pride are helping facilitate the delivery of these letters….
We urge all of our readers to send a letter of gratitude for Sgt. Jones’ service and an expression of prayerful support to his family:
Family of Sgt. Rickey Jones c/o Kokomo High School 2501 S. Berkley Road Kokomo, Indiana 46902
He will live on in the hearts of grateful Americans, forever a hero, forever young.
A big tail wag to LindaSoG who notified us about this story by email.
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.
Comments: 2 Comments »»|
Send a link: Tell a friend about this.
Link to this post: Permalink
Send us your link: Trackback link
Filed under: Uncategorized|
Tags: American ideals