I received the e-mail below from the FL State Captain. This won't be posted on the PGR site as we don't mention the WBC on there, but this is a good reminder as to why the PGR was originally formed.
Sr. Ride Captain, PGR
The mission for SSG Miller went very well despite the many changes that usually happen with a KIA mission. Gene Goss did a really fine job. It was his first mission as RC and, man, did he get baptized! Thank you, Gene. As with most missions, other RC’s showed up and helped. I thank those RC’s, too.
We had uninvited guests at this mission – the Westboro Baptist Church scum. The Orange County SO Intel unit communicated very well with Gene and then with me. They had let us know that WBC had obtained a permit. We also know that WBC was recruiting, or trying to recruit, students from UCF. That was not too successful; there were only two protestors – one with a sign and one with a sign dragging and American flag on the ground.
The Orange County SO briefed me on where the protestors were allowed to be and where they could not be. The FHP was set to arrest them if they tried to cross the median of the street. Orange County deputies did a through search of the wood line across the street and of the wood line behind the church. They gave the protestors permission to stage at a Dunkin Donuts about a half a block from the church. The SO had two undercover deputies watching and relaying information. The SO kept Gene and I well informed of the protestors’ arrival and movements.
Protestors were supposed to locate from their staging area to a spot across the street from the church’s south entrance. PGR was staged at the north entrance and that is where the family was to be brought in. Motorcycle officers were staged at the south entrance. Dunkin Donuts is located at the corner of a major intersection and the escorted family and hearse would pass through that intersection to reach the church. We received word that the family motorcade was in route and the protestors took positions on the corner of that intersection. We could see them from our flag line at the church.
Gene and I decided to take ten or so folks with flags to that corner and I did so - mostly Nam Knights members. Two other PGR members were in that group; Jan (Milktoast being one). As we walked past the Dunkin Donuts, one of the undercover deputies gave us a thumbs up through the window. We formed a line along the curb around the intersection with our flags. Each person held the flag of the person to his/her right stretched out to create a wall of flags. The protestors were behind us on the grass. Two deputies, each in a cruiser, arrived and began talking with the protestors. As the motorcade approached, the deputies began to have a serious conversation with them. Thus the protestors were occupied as the motorcade passed. The family did not see them and don’t even know they were there. All that the family saw was our flags. Mission accomplished.
None of us spoke to or acknowledged the protestors. Our backs were to them. We did see their despicable signs and saw the scum bag dragging the flag on the ground and stomping on it as we walked up. My thanks to the Nam Knights and the whole group for keeping their cool and not interacting with these scum. Not that we didn’t want to! As soon as the motorcade passed, our detail returned to the church and the flag line.
As we were walking back, the news media showed up at Duncan Donuts. A reporter asked me what was going on and I told him “nothing”. I told him we had formed a flag line on the corner as the family passed by. He asked me if there were protestors. I said they might be a couple; but we were focusing on honoring the family of this hero. Then I walked on. Shortly thereafter, a deputy from Intel, came up and told me the protestors had left. They had changed clothes in their van and were gone. Without media and without a confrontation, they gave it up. And the media left, too. Without the protestors, the media was not interested in an American hero who had given his life for this country and to protect his comrades-in-arms.
One of the protestors on his way to Dunkin Donuts tried to drive into the church driveway. The PGR folks who were directing arriving bikes in responded by blocking the drive. The protestor was shouting at them calling the names and said “I hope you all burn in hell.” He was blocking the entrance to the church. As LEO approached, he moved on and parked across from Dunkin Donuts. He got out of his vehicle and gave Mae Lyne a one fingered salute. She was standing in the median with a flag so that arriving bikes would see where to turn. She did not respond to him.
Scooter Sissies – 1; UG’s – 0
I wanted to share our experience with everyone so that you would know how we handled this particular situation. The key is that we did not confront them or even acknowledge them.
Florida State Captain
Patriot Guard Riders