An Elmhurst family is homeless after a candle left burning on a shrine to their son -- a soldier killed six weeks ago in Iraq -- set their house on fire.This family has surely had more than it's share of pain. And it pains me to think of the family having to endure these "protestors" who were most certainly the Fred Phelps' family and members of the Westboro Baptist Church. These f#*kers who use to protest at the funerals of AIDS victims are now "protesting" at the funerals of soldiers. However in November they were met with a unique counter demonstration at another soldier's funeral
The absence of injuries was a bright spot in an otherwise horrible stretch for the family, beginning in 2004 when the family patriarch, Jesse Alcozer, lost his job."We're still dealing with it all. It's been very hard. It's been a year of sadness. One thing right after another," said his 41-year-old wife, Judy Alcozer, Christopher's stepmom.
Jesse Alcozer, 57, a disabled Marine who was wounded seven times while serving in Vietnam, lost his machine-operating job when the plant where he worked closed. Unable to get work and with so much time on his hands, he began to think more about Vietnam and what had happened there. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and rated 100 percent disabled and unfit to work by Veterans Affairs doctors. But in October, the VA decided to cut Jesse Alcozer's benefits 20 percent and threatened to further reduce them by 80 percent, he said.
Then on Nov. 19 Christopher Alcozer, a 2003 graduate of Villa Park's Willowbrook High School, was killed after his unit was attacked with small arms fire and hand grenades in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
Ten days later, Jesse Alcozer, his wife and their extended family buried Christopher, a 21-year-old Army infantryman, while a half-dozen protesters stood across the street carrying signs that read: "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."
"It was bad enough that I got harassed after I got out of Vietnam," Jesse Alcozer said. "But after 37 years of trying to get rid of this wound, they are doing this to my son."
Whenever the few protesters from Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church shouted or sang Wednesday in South Haven, the earth trembled.
Any time they spoke up, the wrists of biker veterans twisted on dozens of throttles to strike the thundering chords of Honda and Harley-Davidson.
More than 200 bikers had made themselves into a chrome-and-black leather barrier. The 10 anti-gay picketers stood on one side, drowned out by the noise. Mourners arriving for the funeral of Army Sgt. Evan Parker passed on the other side.
I was kind of hoping the bikers would have meted out some justice in only the way they are known to do on occasion if you catch my drift.