Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dead soldier's home vandalized

Kokomo, February 27 - For the family who lives in a modest home in Kokomo the fatal Iraq attack came last week.

Then the attack at home followed.

Vandals defaced the home of Sgt. Rickey Jones' family. Eggs were thrown and flags were stolen. Sgt. Jones, a Kokomo High School graduate, was one four soldier's with the 101st killed west of Baghdad last week.

So who, one week before his burial in his hometown, would vandalize a fallen hero's house. Neighbor Robyn Ousley is at a loss to explain.

"I have no idea. Somebody pretty, pretty awful."

Another friend, Bill Swaggerty, says there is more than vandalism for the family to deal with.

"They're calling here and saying 'I'm glad your son is dead' and it's wrong."

The family's neighbors have closed ranks, bringing food and flying flags at half-staff. All are signs of respect for Sgt. Jones.

But there is a threat of disrespect from out of state.

The same Kansas church group that has been picketing soldier's funerals around the U.S. and Indiana will be in Kokomo too. The group claims U.S. soldier deaths are punishment for U.S. tolerance of Gays.

Kokomo police will have extra security and are running extra patrols at the house. Swaggerty, a veteran himself, says he convinced Rickey Jones to join up. He can't believe Sgt. Jones' memory would be attacked in this way.

"It's wrong. He would come home on leave. His friends (were) very respectful to my wife and my family. He was a very good kid."

Swaggerty supports a move in the legislature to keep protesters back from military funerals.

Neighbor Ousley agrees. "He just went over there for us. I think it is awful."

Services for Sgt. Jones are set for next Monday. In the meantime Kokomo police have increased patrols around his family's house.



I'm sending a sympathy card care of:

Kokomo High School
2501 S. Berkley Road
Kokomo, Indiana 46902

Maybe if we flood them with care, we can undo a little of the evil they are enduring.

8 posted on 02/28/2006 5:15:16 AM PST by Samwise

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