A controversial church group from Kansas claimed they'd be in Southern Colorado to protest at a Fort Carson soldier's funeral Thursday. That was enough for a protest against the protest to be organized by a group of Army wives.
Army Chaplain Captain Dale Goetz died August 30 in Afghanistan. He's the first army chaplain to die in combat since 1970. His funeral took place Thursday morning on Fort Carson, and that's where the Westboro Baptist Church claimed they'd be to protest the war and the Army.
Members of the church are known for repeatedly protesting what they say is the acceptance of homosexuals and the role of the military, by picketing at the funerals of fallen soldiers. They're known to hold signs saying things like, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Thank God for IEDs."
Captain Goetz's funeral was originally planned for Wednesday at the Soldiers' Memorial Chapel but was moved to Thursday at a different chapel on post when his family heard about the protest plans.
Fort Carson says there are no protests allowed on DOD property, so even if Westboro members had gotten on post, they would not have been allowed to hold their protest outside of the chapel. They would, however, have legally been allowed to protest outside of Fort Carson gates.
And that's where a group of Army wives showed up Thursday morning. They gathered outside of Gate 1 with signs saying "Support our Troops" and "Rest in Peace Captain Goetz."
"I feel everyone has the right to their opinions and protests, but I think a funeral is very cowardly and I want his family to know we support what he has done," said Jennifer Merrill.
They were prepared to hold their ground against Westboro, but Westboro never showed. Calls and e-mails to Westboro for their response from KKTV 11 News have gone unanswered.
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