Some boots are made for walking, some for fashion, some for protection, some for service, and some for combat. These boots were made for all those things:
I was so honored to be a small part of the “Welcome Home” crowd that lined the streets and roads of Douglas County this morning (it’s Thursday as I write this) to welcome home the body of Lance Corporal Scott “Boots” Harper. He was 21 years old. He got his nickname because he loved boots and wore them all the time. Even when he was wearing shorts, according to friends and family, he was wearing boots. How fitting that in his chosen profession, his uniform would include boots. But these boots were made for combat.
Scott Harper had long known what he wanted to do with his life. He told his dad way back when that he wanted to “one of the few, one of the chosen.” How fitting that he would choose to be “one of the few, the proud, the Marines”? Yes, he was chosen to serve and he was very proud of being a Marine. In his last conversation with his son, Scott’s father told reporters that Scott’s grandmother had ordered him a new pair of boots and he asked his dad if they had come in yet. His father told him that they indeed had. He wanted to know how soon he could send them. Scott’s father took them to the post office and mailed them out on Tuesday. Two days later, before he could even receive his new boots, Scott was killed in Afghanistan. So far he is the only Douglas County native to have lost his life in the war in Afghanistan. I hope he remains the only one.
As sad as it is to lose a loved one, especially one so young, at least he died doing what he loved. He knew early on what he wanted his life path to be. He wanted to be a Marine. And he died doing exactly what he wanted to do. He was protecting his family, his friends and his country. It was his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Scott’s body was flown into Charlie Brown airport, which is a small regional airport, not too far from Douglas County. They brought him by motorcade back “home” to Douglas County escorted by numerous police agencies and motorcyclists including the Patriot Guard. They had asked that citizens come and line the route to show support for his family. I don’t know why but I felt pulled to be there. I’m not disappointed that I did because even though I never personally met this young man I felt honored to be a part of his welcoming home. The outpouring of love and support for his family and friends was unreal.
His funeral will be Sunday. I hope it goes off smoothly because there is an extremist group (under the guise of being a church and Christians) that has already planned to picket his funeral. I find this reprehensible and despicable. It is hard enough to lose someone you love but to lose someone you love and have to deal with hate mongers at the same time would be more than I could handle. I was hoping that our local law enforcement would put a stop to it but legally there is nothing they can do to stop it. The law has no legal reason NOT to give them a permit to gather in protest. I think what angers me the most (I’m not sure so many things anger me about this group) is that they made the statement that he died to give them the right to protest his funeral. I mean I get what they mean… that he died fighting to protect the country and constitution that gives them the right to gather in protest, but come on! Have you no human decency?
I think what I find even more reprehensible is the fact that this group calls themselves Christians. IMHO they are anything BUT Christians. They are hate mongers, racists, bigots and bullies. They hide behind the bible and twist its words to further their cause. My daughter kind of put it in a nutshell when she said “I have a hard time taking any group whose website is called “God hates fags” seriously. Some people just disgust me.” I agree wholeheartedly!
This is a flyer they are distributing for Scott Harper’s funeral and it literally disgusts me:
“GOD HATES AMERICA & IS KILLING OUR TROOPS IN HIS WRATH.
Military funerals have become pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom & play taps to a fallen fool. This message to be preached in respectful, lawful proximity to the memorial of Lance Cpl. Scott D. Harper Sun., Oct. 23 at 2:15 p.m.
Ephesus Baptist Church
8445 Ephesus Church Rd., Villa Rica, GA
Lance Cpl. Harper gave his life for the Constitutional right of WBC to warn America. To deny us our First Amendment rights is to declare to the world that Lance Cpl. Harper died in vain, and that America is a nation of sodomite hypocrites.
“Except the Lord build the house, They labor in vain that build it; Except the Lord keep the city, The watchman waketh but in vain.” Psa. 127:1.
The Lord no longer builds the American house; nor does the Lord watch over and protect America. These soldiers are dying for the homosexual and other sins of America. God is now America’s enemy, and God Himself is fighting against America.
THANK GOD FOR IEDs.”
Is that not the most disgusting thing you have ever read? And we HAVE to let them picket. My thought is that (and I mean this in the most respectful and loving way possible) Douglas County is just redneck enough that we will NOT put up with their crap. I have a feeling that IF they show up, they will most likely be sorry that they did because I don’t think Douglas County citizens are going to take lightly to anyone, much less this sack of crap cretins that call themselves Christians, going after one of their own. We may be small in numbers but we stick together and we stick up for one another. They may rue the day they messed with Scott Harper’s family, friends and neighbors.
The word has been put out for all Douglas County citizens to show up to line the road/streets between the church and cemetery to at least form a buffer between these idiots and Scott Harper’s family. I pray that no one gets hurt but I pray even harder that these disrespectful cretins decide NOT to come to Douglas County and I think at the very least they owe Boots’ family a public apology for even threatening to show up or even mention his name on their website. They are not good enough, in my opinion, to be allowed to utter his name. They are NOT Christians and they give a really bad name to those that are. If that is what Christianity has come to then I want no part of it.
This is a link to a video someone took of the procession:
I know one thing they couldn’t do was tear our community apart. If nothing else, the “threat” of them coming into our county helped to pull us closer together. As I was standing there waiting for the procession bringing Scott home I looked around and saw citizens from all walks of life, all there to do the same thing. We were all there to honor our fallen hometown hero. And the flag flying on the patriot guard motorcycles said it all for me “Standing for those who have fallen”.
The majority of people there were wearing red, white and blue and/or boots. All to honor “Boots” Harper. Greystone Power had two of their bucket trucks across the road from each other in front of their building with buckets extended overhead and a huge American flag hanging between the two buckets. Parents were there with children they had taken out of school just for this occasion. Grandparents with their grandchildren, young and old, teaching them what it is to be an American. Ex-military were there wearing their hats in tribute. Businesses closed down for a while just so their employees could go and stand and give honor to this young man who gave his life for us, who died protecting us. Scott Harper, in his young life and early death, did something few others have been able to do. He brought together a whole community who stood together, side by side and were made stronger because of him.
May we always stand for those who serve and protect us and thank them and honor them, both while they are alive and if necessary, in their death. Let us not forget what they sacrifice for us.
RIP Lance Corporal Scott Boots Harper.
ADDENDUM: I just wanted to add the link to the news video from Channel 23. It’s about 16 minutes long but very moving and makes me so proud to be from Douglas County: