GOOD We need more Sheriffs like this one
This is a discussion on GOOD We need more Sheriffs like this one within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Woman Complains to Sheriff Because She Was "Inconvenienced" by American Soldier Killed by the Taliban's Funeral Procession
JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson County sheriff has ...
September 11th, 2009 11:21 PM
GOOD We need more Sheriffs like this one
Woman Complains to Sheriff Because She Was "Inconvenienced" by American Soldier Killed by the Taliban's Funeral Procession
JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson County sheriff has offered a stern response to a woman complaining she was inconvenienced by a procession accompanying a soldier's casket.
The woman wrote an e-mail to Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer after she had a hard time driving around the procession escorting the casket of Sgt. William Woods, who was killed by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
In his response, Boyer called the complaint self-serving and noted that her inconvenience was of little consequence considering what America's soldiers go through.
Boyer's response has made its way to the Internet, where it is getting a strong reaction as it is e-mailed around the country by soldiers and military groups.
Boyer is a Vietnam veteran.
Boyer said he sent a copy of his response to the complaint internally to sheriff's department employees so they would know his position should the department receive similar complaints in the future. He assumes some of the employees sent it on to friends and colleagues.
From there, it landed on military, police and news websites across the country.
Read the full email exchange between the person who complained and Sherrif Boyer below the fold. Highlight of my day....
The original email was sent to Sheriff Glenn Boyer on Thursday, August 27. Below is the citizen's email followed by Sheriff Boyer's response.
I tried to call you earlier this morning, but was unable to obtain your extension from the voice mail system as I was not sure of your first name or correct spelling of your last.
I was inadvertently in this procession as I was leaving work on 270 from Creve Coeur and proceeding on Hwy. 30 West. I have some issues and complaints. I called the Sheriff's office last night, but the officer in charge would not speak with me. His name was Corp. Curtis. I am in no way complaining about your officers. I, however, was not treated very fairly when I called last evening because I wanted a ticket/complaint/or at least a slap on wrist for the people involved. Let me explain:
1) This procession should never have been held during rush hour traffic! Hwy. 270 is dangerous and people drive way too fast and there is too much traffic. This soldier's certainly would not have want his family hurt on the interstate taking him to Cedar Hill. People were dead-stopping on the interstate even though the procession was in the far right lane, the other three lanes just stopped. There were many near accidents and possibly were after I drove through. I was in the 2nd to left lane, no way obstructing the funeral procession.
2) I exited off on Gravois (30 W), far right lane. Your police officers went in the left lane to stop any additional on-coming traffic so the procession could exit off 270 into the LEFT lane of 30. Again, I was in the right lane. The St. Louis County officer stopped and turned around at Weber Hill to return on 270 after the procession passed.
3) The road was not closed. (Only for president as far as I know.) Again, the road was not closed. Your officers only had the left lane blocked/closed for the funeral. All other traffic by MO law can proceed as long as they do not interfere (weave in and out )with funeral procession.
Let me say, that I did not know what was happening. I knew the did not have Kennedy coming to STL, at least not yesterday. I was at work all day. No news. Nothing reported on the traffic on the radio driving home.
Anyway, two of these dirty, nasty, renegade, who knows what motorcycle men that were escorting the procession proceeded to stop in front of me in the right lane on Gravois. I had to stop in the middle of an intersection. They proceeded to scream and yell at me about respecting this soldier, etc. One of them climbed off his motorcycle and came over to me and stuck his head in my car continuing to scream at me. I asked him what this was for and he told me I needed to stop as the officers had the road blocked and show some dang respect. #1, the road was not blocked, the funeral was in the other lane. #2, I am proud of our country and sorry for the family, but they had no idea where I was going or anything else. I could have a child at day-care, I could have been sick and racing to the bathroom, I could have a sick parent waiting for me, etc., etc.
#3, They are not law enforcement and had no right to stop in the lane on Gravois and they had no right to scream at me and intimidate and threaten me. If I would have had my pepper spray, I would have used it on this nasty man! He is just a big hoo ha that is not even related to this soldier. The other man did not get off his scooter, but was along side of my passenger window screaming.
I left an abusive husband 1 1/2 years ago and I did not need this intimidation. I was livid and shaking!!
My son is a deputy sheriff in another MO county. I respect police officers. It was not their fault as they were busy with traffic, but I called to make them aware of what was going on during this thing. The St. Louis County officer saw it but of course he was out of jurisdiction.
However, I called last night and your office asked me if I knew about this soldier. Again, I am sorry about him, but I am a taxpayer. I got a speeding ticket a few months ago and paid the fine. I do not deserve to be treated like this. I wanted to let the officer know how these men were acting. Also, they were driving into the turnarounds on Hwy. 30 and then back onto the road. the funeral was much further ahead. One of them nearly got hit by me and other people almost hit him and another as well. I wanted to lodge a complaint about them why they were still there, but no one in your office would take any information or do anything.
This was not a military funeral, even though it was a soldier. There were not military vehicles. It was a funeral and the road was not closed, the lane was closed, I was in the other lane and again, these nasty men had no right to do this and I would have liked them to get a ticket!
I am sorry for the soldier and his family but you cannot let these motorcycle renegades do this. They could have caused several accidents and I really wanted them arrested. If they had any respect for the soldier they would have dressed better and not looked and acted so scuzzy.
Sheriff Boyer's response.....
Yes, you do deserve a response and I am willing to give you one.
I would like to say that I am sorry for the inconvenience we caused you during the funeral procession of Sergeant 1st Class William B. Woods, but I cannot do so. I would ask instead that you take a moment of your time to take into consideration the scope of the event. Your very right to complain was the reason Sgt. Woods fought for his country and ultimately gave his life; thus making the ultimate sacrifice for you and your family.
Let me introduce you to him. After high school, Sergeant Woods entered the Marine Corps. After his contract was up, he joined the Army, where he became a Green Beret. He comes from a long line of military members in his family. His Uncle is a Vietnam Veteran and two of his grandfathers were World War II Veterans. His job in the Army was one of the most dangerous jobs - he was a sniper looking for the bad guys to stop before they killed or injured one of our soldiers. He has numerous decorations to include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
He grew up in Catawissa and was best known by his middle name, Brian. He enjoyed the outdoors, playing sports, and skydiving. He had a wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, whom he loved dearly. He was a soft-spoken, level-headed young man who was proud to serve his country no matter what the risk. Now, I did not know him, but I wish I did. I am quoting from newspaper articles written about him.
At the young age of 31, he was shot during an engagement with Taliban forces in Ghanzi , Afghanistan . He died of his wounds in Germany on August 16, with his family by his side. He did not choose the time of his death, nor did he choose the time his remains would be brought back to his home in Catawissa. He just did his duty. He was quite a young man.
While you were being inconvenienced in your car on your way home, there were soldiers just like Sergeant Woods carrying 100+ pounds of equipment in 120 degree heat, up some mountain or in the middle of some desert.They will shower out of a helmet liner if they get the chance. They will eat a cold meal of MRE's; something most people would consider garbage. They cannot text their family or friends, or go to McDonalds, or watch TV. They can only continue the mission and look out after the guy to the left and right of them. They don't complain because they know they volunteered. The only thing they ask is that we do not forget the sacrifices they have made.
One of the dirty "big hoo ha" bikers, as you call them, was Brian's uncle, a Vietnam Veteran, like myself. We were not treated with a homecoming. We were spit on and called baby killers by a misguided public. Brian's uncle was giving him the respect that he, himself, never received when he came back and I, for one, am proud of him for doing so.
You say that your brother is a deputy in another Missouri county. I am sure he would be proud to escort the casket of a fallen solder, the same as he would that of a fallen officer. I am also sure he would not agree with your complaint about being inconvenienced.
My mother recently passed away. She was a World War II Veteran, serving the U.S. Army. She would say, maybe you should pick up Sergeant Woods' ruck sack and carry on where he left off. Then you could see first hand what it really is to be inconvenienced.
Per your request, I will forward your complaint to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for his review. It is my personal opinion that your complaint is self-serving and without merit.
Sheriff Oliver "Glenn" Boyer
Last edited by Bumper; September 12th, 2009 at 04:50 AM.
Reason: edited for language
Luck is not a feeling it's a way of life
September 11th, 2009 11:26 PM
Good for the sheriff.
The woman who wrote the email called a local news station today and tried to say she wasn't disrespecting the soldier, but it was even more obvious she is self-centered and thinks the world revolves around her. She is still upset the funeral procession inconvenienced HER life.
Probably a good thing for her that no news outlets have identified her.
BTW, the sheriff has received a very thick stack of emails and comments supporting him.
September 11th, 2009 11:33 PM
It's sad we have people with attitudes like hers.
Hats off to Sheriff Boyer.
God bless SFC Woods and his family.
September 12th, 2009 12:23 AM
People like her always exaggerate about the events that took place to make it sound like they are complaining for everybody,when she was probably Teed off and driving like an idiot and ignoring the obvious,I have 0 sympathy for her,and had she tried to run me over on my bike woulda had a more serious problem
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
September 12th, 2009 12:49 AM
I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.
I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro
September 12th, 2009 03:54 AM
Nice letter. Thanks for sharing!
"In America, freedom and justice have always come from the ballot box, the jury box, and when that fails, the cartridge box."
-- Steve Symms, US Senator from Idaho, 1990
September 12th, 2009 04:23 AM
September 12th, 2009 04:51 AM
Great response and right on the mark!
Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.
September 12th, 2009 04:56 AM
Here is the story
Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver "Glenn" Boyer
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
September 12th, 2009 05:11 AM
Miggy... You come through like always! You're the boss!
Thanks for posting those pictures, Sir.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
September 12th, 2009 05:23 AM
Its a terrible thing when the cannon fodder types are inconvienenced.
She should have called the Whaaaaaaamubulance instead of the Sheriff.
I'll bet it it interupted her daily trip to Starbucks and she was miffed cause she didnt get her latte on time.
With "friends" like that, who needs enemies?
Kudo's to the Sheriff.
He did well.
hecks...the next step towards registration and confiscation.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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September 12th, 2009 05:42 AM
September 12th, 2009 06:14 AM
None of us where there, so it's hard to know the specific details of how she came upon the procession, but here is some food for thought.
I know first-hand how difficult it can be to identify that it's a funeral procession one has come across, particularly if that procession is large and insufficient steps have been taken to accommodate the large number of people. It's even worse if the planners or participants in the procession don't have the first clue of traffic requirements during processions. The lady in the exchange, above, is correct, that there are specific rules of the road to be followed by processions, such that all traffic is not shut down.
I once came upon a very long, slow-moving procession. Many people in the procession had forgotten about the rules of the road, and hence they had taken over the entire roadway on their run down the boulevard. That effectively shut down the whole road. Not good. I, too, was verbally abused for my insensitivity and failure to get the <bleep> out of the way of their right to the road. I, too, felt used and abused, much like the lady in the exchange, above. The procession I came upon, though, was "just" for some person, not for some "more worthy" person (such as a fallen veteran).
In both situations, nothing justified the blatant, in-your-face abusive tactics taken by the self-proclaimed traffic busters. I, too, did not appreciate being harangued by folks I did not know who were engaged in I knew not what. Turns out it was a funeral procession, but that wasn't clear at the moment I had gotten mixed into the group of cars, and at the moment the haranguing began by the self-proclaimed traffic busters.
My point is, it's easy to come upon a crazy, mixed-up group of cars that isn't adhering to any sensible use of the road, which ends up being a funeral procession requiring some measure of dignity and solemnity, but where some of the participants fails to exhibit either. It happened to me. Can't say whether it occurred similarly with the woman in question, above, but it wouldn't surprise me.
In the end, I'd be surprised if she spit on vets, pissed on their memory, disrespected the commitment and sacrifice made by each and every soldier, or chose to appear disrespectful or insensitive in any way on that day. People will take things the way they will, often with little or no "provocation" or reason for doing so, other than being wound up on a bad day.
Anyway. "High horses" can be gotten onto by a number of people, on such a bad day. Those "in the know" might not appreciate that not everyone they'll meet, that day, is "in the know." And it can be that simple, when some of "those" folks don't appear to be with the program ... and it may have nothing to do with being disrespectful or even knowing what's going on.
Something to think about.
BTW, I make no excuses for, nor side with, bad behavior on the part of anyone, let alone failure to appreciate the basic requirements for and respect due to a funeral procession. Let alone, something as deserving of our respect as a service for our fallen few.
Last edited by ccw9mm; September 12th, 2009 at 10:34 AM.
Reason: clarification, grammar
September 12th, 2009 10:10 AM
I Salute Sheriff Boyer
Respect is a triat that is sometimes not taught or learned in ones upbringing....That being said,people lacking respect will make excuses for disrespectful behaiver,believing they have done nothing wrong. In my opinion this does not excuse them but only shows they lack skills most older adults were taught as a small child......
September 12th, 2009 10:33 AM
Clearly, the person in the situation knew it was a funeral procession and showed enough me-first-isms and lack of respect generally shown at such affairs, yes.
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