SPC Timothy D. Watkins was one of the soldiers from Noah's unit killed in an IED attack in ar Ramadi on October 15, 2005. By all accounts Tim Watkins was a devoted Christian, a dedicated soldier and a good son. From the San Bernardino Sun:
"His executive officers tell me he would invite others to go to church with him any Sunday he wasn't on a mission," he said.
His faith was his passion, and he was fervent even in the midst of war. People were drawn to that, his father said.
His other passion was learning to fly. That was among the reasons he decided to join the military, Rob Watkins said. He had wanted to fly helicopters.
But he was equally passionate about serving and helping the people of Iraq, Rob Watkins said.
The young man had been passionate about his beliefs since childhood, his father said. He was converted to Christianity at age 5. He carried that through his entire life.
Tim Watkins was heavily involved in the church, taking part in school theatrical productions and working with children at Ironwood Christian Camp in Newberry Springs.
He was part of the ministry of Pacific Baptist College in Pomona and sang with a worship group.
"Tim died for a great cause, and we're proud of him," Rob Watkins said. "We miss him terribly. I'm just thankful for assurances we'll be together again."
A pretty remarkable young man.
But I have just discovered that the cretin Fred Phelps intends to protest at the funeral of SPC Timothy Watkins. This has upset me many times in the past, but this has left me distraught over the thought of the pain this imbecile intends to inflict on the family and friends of a hero who died in defense of our freedoms (and yes, Phelps freedom to be an idiot). I really hate how this guy blasphemes in God's name and I'm pretty sure I know what the Lord's response to Mr. Phelps will be come Judgment Day...
Many bloggers have written about the blasphemous and outrageous carnival rantings of Phelps, including Greyhawk at The Mudville Gazette, Banter in Atlanter, Assumption of Command... For anyone not familiar with this moron (and I'm sure there are many of you although not in Fred's mind) Phelps is the founder of a "Baptist" church (and I use that term loosely) in Kansas that contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. (Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.) The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps children, grandchildren and in-laws. They carry the meanest, most vile and outrageous signs and shout at those attending the funerals of the soldiers...
I am calling upon all available citizens, veterans and military in the area of the Calvary Baptist Church in Yucca Valley, California on Tuesday, November 1st (Phelps plans to be there from 9:00AM-10:00AM) to counter this demonstration by whatever method works for you...
I am not suggesting by any means that anyone personally engage these imbeciles, just that there be a presence to let the family and friends of SPC Watkins know that no one believes these cranks.... KNOW THAT THESE PEOPLE MAKE THEIR LIVING BY INCITING PEOPLE AND THEN SUING THEM FOR DAMAGES!! As Blackfive posted back in August, the advice given for military members if encountering these evil-doers at funerals and which is good advice for anyone wishing to counter-protest:
4. ALL DOD PERSONNEL/FAMILY MEMBERS PARTICIPATING IN OR ATTENDING MILITARY FUNERALS SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:
4.A. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS OF REPORTED ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE WBC AND THEIR METHODS.
4.B. DO NOT PERSONALLY ENGAGE PROTESTORS IN ANY WAY; VERBALLY OR PHYSICALLY.
4.C. ALLOW CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES TO ADDRESS ANY INFLAMMATORY SITUATIONS OR EFFORTS TO IMPEDE THE FUNERAL PROCESSIONAL.
And I'm asking that this get passed around the blogsphere and emailed to as many people as you think might be willing to counter such ill will and send a clear message to that publicity whore Phelps that soldiers' funerals are not the time or place... and allow the Watkins family to bury their hero with the love, dignity and the respect that he deserves.
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