Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Update on the Spc. Joshua Tomlinson funeral...

...and some personal notes/blog junk, etc.

Let me start out by saying that I have been an extremely sucky globber lately.  Y'all have no idea how much I appreciate comments on my little posts.  And, I have always done my best to respond to every comment.  As a little child, I learned from my Momma that it is only "polite" to acknowledge a gift from someone.  And, your comments are just that...they are"gifts" to me.  They truly are appreciated just like a "gift."    But, lately I have become lax in acknowledging and responding to them.  And, I've been even more sucky at thanking other globbers for linking to this puny effort.  I have many thoughts on "thaknee for the link," and I may write up a big monster post on said thoughts and post it this weekend, but I digress.

I'm a worm.  But, I will try to do mo' better!

Yesterday I told y'all about one of our fallen heroes, Spc. Joshua Tomlinson, and the planned attendance by the Westboro Klan at his funeral on Saturday in Minden, LA.

Before I give you an update, I first wish to apologize.  When I wrote that post, I was suffering with a full blown case of the reds.  I am quite sure that I used some language, and made some statements that I really regret.  Kinda.  I know that most of y'all that visit Andy's Place have very tender ears, eyes, and hearts, and I'm sorry if anybody found the language, or the tone to be offensive.

First of all, I really do not pray that God will strike the worthless Klansans all dead with a lightning bolt.  Kinda.  No, my sincere prayer is that God will break their hearts, and give them a revelation of His love for all mankind.  I don't guess I was a very good example of that myself.  Again.

So, let's get to the update.  After Jim at My Bossier brought our attention to the planned visit by the twisted goobers to the funeral of Spc. Joshua Tomlinson,  many other Louisiana globbers picked up on  it (your humble host included).  Red, at "Caught Him With A Corndog," (now, that's a cool name for a blog) Pat, at "And So It Goes In Shreveport," and James, at "Opinionated Catholic" all helped to get the word out. I am sure that many dozens of other globbers in the Four State Area have done their part to pass the word along to their readers...but, those are the only ones I read regularly that have.

It has been fascinating to read the comments.  If ya' didn't know..."comments" make a glob enjoyable to visit time and time again!  (At least in my humble, expert opinion).  The comments range  from outright threats against the Westboro Wusses, to some quite compassionate prayers for their obviously damned souls.  But, most of them call for restraint...ignore the a*#holes...let the "authorities handle it,"...and sympathies for Joshua's family. 

Side note:  I don't believe that I've ever seen so much interest in a local story.  People from all over the country are commenting, e-mailing, and chiming in about this.  Our blog traffic (and I'm sure that of my fellow NW Louisiana bloggers) has been through the roof.  And, I can honestly say that this is the first time that I am not one bit happy about it.  I very much wish that Joshua had completed his tour unharmed, and quietly returned home to his wife, parents, and friends.

One of my very first "blog buddies," MUD (a retired Lt. Col.) noted that one of the most fundamental of rights, "Free Speech" that we still enjoy must NEVER be denied.  It is one of our US basics that millions of our fellow Americans have died protecting.  Thank God, not all of 'em died in battle, but many have.  MUD is right.  MUD has probably a better perspective of the Phelps Klan than most.  They come from his neck of the woods, and he has often blogged about their dookie-dropping around Topeka, KS.

MUD is right.  But, to use a worn-out saw...  "Everyone has the right to speak, but no one has the right to be heard."

This brings us to another comment, and an update.  It seems that the Patriot Guard Riders are well aware of the situation in Minden.  This comment was particularly interesting (just an excerpt):

On Sunday the Patriot Guard escorted the body of Sgt. Tomlinson back home. My son (10 years old) and I had the unexpected privilege to ride beside the group for 17 miles on our way home from Shreveport. To give you an idea of how many riders were in the procession, I got on I-20 at MP21 and when I exited at MP 38 I could barely make out the lights of the police car in front and could not see the end behind me. I was moved to tears to see the support and respect these riders had for Sgt. Tomlinson and my son rode in silent awe. My thoughts and prayers are with the Tomlinson family.

Many have mentioned in the comments around the Northwest LA blogosphere that the presence of the Patriot Guard Riders does MUCH to drown out the idiocy of the Westies. Here is one:

Westboro are media whores... They travel around to schools, funerals, concerts and smaller churches looking for free publicity and lawsuit cash from people that threaten or attack them (they are a family of lawyers using their first amendment rights to sue aggrieved parties for money to their family church of 15-20 members)

The best thing that can ever be done to them is ignore them as if there were a poorly behaving child screaming for candy... Ignore them and prevent them from harming others. The PGR has long ago found that 'weakness' in them. The flag line not only shows respect for the fallen, but also insulates the family from the WBC. When the WBC starts to scream or bull horn their message, a few Harleys will coincidentally test out their engines... No one out shouts a dozen Harleys.

The local TV affiliates have picked up on the story, and are planning to cover the whole deal on Saturday.

My heart is truly hurting today. It is a darned shame that the funeral of a fine young Soldier should be subjected to the hawking of the carnies like these Cretins.  Heck, maybe I'm a part of that myself by even posting about it.  

But, I'm going to choose to look at this whole thing as a "glass full."  In the comments on this blog, Walt noted that if thousands of God-loving, patriotic folk held hands, it'd be good enough to keep the demonic crew (my words, not his) maybe a half-mile away from the family.  I believe that is precisely what is happening.

In a rather odd way, I think that the Westies have shot themselves in the talons.  The various comments indicate that hundreds (maybe thousands) of people from Texas Vietnam Vet organizations, to Arkansans, to many groups of  folks from Shreveport, to Soldiers/Airmen/Reservists/National Guardsmen and their families are planning to make the trip to Minden for Joshua's funeral.

I am hoping that thousands will attend in a show of support for his family, friends, and the Minden community.  And, I would not be surprised if thousands do show up.  My hope is that the many thousands that do attend will not come just "looking for the show."  My prayer is that a true sense of reverence for the life of a fine young man (and for all of our young men and women that serve) will be the order of the day...not just a bunch of folks looking for a fight, or to be there if one breaks out.

I truly wonder how many folks would have taken a trip to Minden, LA on a Saturday afternoon (on a Memorial Day Holiday weekend), to pay their respects to one of our fallen warriors, had it not been for all of the publicity that been stirred up by the Westboro visit.

I'll be honest.  I wouldn't have. 

I would have read the obit, seen the late news report about his death, felt some sadness for the family (having two sons that are US military myself), and gone about my business over the weekend.  I'm sure that I'm not alone.  But, this whole Westboro gar-bage has once again raised my personal awareness.

I guess God still does use the heathen to accomplish His purposes.

As with many hundreds I've heard from, we will be there with our American Flag.  We will not even make an attempt to see the demons spew their bile. 

And,  we will not attempt to even get near the Church in downtown Minden...there will be NO WAY, I'm sure.  And, I wouldn't want to take up personal, or "parking" space from his childhood friends, teachers, etc...folks that really knew Joshua.  But, we will be at the cemetery for his burial.  We will pay our respects reverently, and do our best to instruct #4 son as to the high price that many have paid, and will continue to pay for the blessed lives we lead.

Well...that's all.


  1. Great update, and thank you for it, Andy.

  2. Just ignore the Westboro idiots.... That will drive them even more nuts.

  3. Good job, Andy.
    I'm proud to be in Bossier with you!

  4. This post is just so harsh that it hurts my feelings.

    But, the God that I worship has gotten a few prayers since yesterday to reinstitute the smiting and I requested that the warm-up should happen with the Westboro evilites.

  5. Guys, thank you for taking time to read. Buck, and Sully, I hope that by Saturday that will be the overwhelming attitude.

    Jim, you are too kind. I too am proud to be in Bossier with so many like-minded folks. We are blessed to be a part of this community (warts and all).

    Paul, I knew I could count on you...and you DID NOT let me down.

  6. Thanks for the update. I wish I could be there, too. You might like to know that an email came out this morning from the Louisiana Tea Party Federation notifying the various Tea Party groups about those dark-souled people who claim to be Christians. The email should bring out a lot more respectful folks who may be able to block the sight of those hateful people:
    "A Hate Group, called Westboro Baptist Church has planned a protest for a fallen Minden, Louisiana soldier, SPC Joshua A. Tomlinson. His funeral is scheduled for this Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 1:15 P.M. Tea Parties across the state are rally in support for his HONOR. We are asked to show up in great numbers with American flags, dressed appromiately for the occassion, and support this Amercian hero. Please do not bring signs.

    Services are being held at:
    First Baptist Church
    301 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Minden, LA 71055-3400

    Those in Central Louisiana that are interested in attending, please meet up at the K-Mart parking lot in Alexandria, LA at 10 a.m. The convoy will leave promptly at 10:15 a.m.

    I'll be there in spirit and gratitude to SPC Tomlinson.

  7. Hi Moogie! Thanks for passing along the info from The Tea Party. I know for certain that many hundreds (I hope thousands) are coming from all over North & Central, Louisiana. Also, East Texas, Southern Arkansas, etc.

    And, from what I've been reading, the family of Joshua has been receiving an incredible outpouring of support from all over the nation. I know it won't keep them from hurting, or missing their young man. But, maybe it will give them some comfort.


  8. Andy - My son is a very close friend of Josh, and just made the trip from California to Louisiana last night to be there for Josh, his family, and other friends. I am so overwhelmed and grateful for all the love and support being shown for this family, and can't thank everyone nearly enough. It just makes my heart so happy to know that the Tomlinsons will see and feel all this love. What a country we live in!

  9. Christie, I share your gratitude for the love and support being shown to the Tomlinson family.

    Good on your son! It's a long way from there to here. You should be proud that he has such loyalty to make the trip.

    We'll see you there.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?