Soldier’s Funeral Shielded from Westboro Picketers: The Joan Jerkovich Show

Don Shrubshell photographs

In the wake of the massacre at the Aurora, Colorado theatre, which left so many feeling stunned and in shock, a heartwarming story came out of Columbia Missouri.  Given notice that the Westboro Baptist church from Topeka, Kansas would be picketing the funeral of fallen soldier, 21-year-old Army Spc. Sterling Wyatt who was killed by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan; thousands of people gathered outside the church to show their support.

Dressed in red shirts, the supporters formed a human shield blocking out the six or so people from the Westboro Church whose organization, considered radical by many, often picket the funerals of soldiers.  The Westboro group believes that the military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are God’s punishment for the US tolerance of homosexuality.

As reported by Janise Silvey in the Columbia Daily Tribunes, several times, Wyatt’s parents, Randy and Sherry, and brother Chandler, came out of the church before the 1 p.m. service to greet and hug attendees.

Citizens who deplore the activities of this radical group have been following their actions and organizing counter protests.  Link to this podcast to hear from my Producer, Tonya Powers, as she talks about her participation in a counter protest against the Westboro group held in Hutchinson, Kansas:


To hear Joan Life Coaching on Starting a New Business at 60, and Co-Dependent Relationship listen this Saturday and Sunday at 9am on 910 KINA or go to for the Podcast and link to iTunes.


Joan Jerkovich is a Board Certified Life Coach

For Free Life Coaching on The Joan Jerkovich Show

Go to


The Joan Jerkovich Show

Weekends at 9am on 910 KINA

On the web at




  • tony

    ”sheild the family” WBC has repeatedly said that YOU are the target audience.

  • Joan Jerkovich

    Point well made Tony. Any counter-protest of this group does give it an audience, yet I know the intent is to show compassion to the grieving family and honor a fallen soldier.