Church Group To Protest At Sgt. Pfister's Memorial Service - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Church Group To Protest At Sgt. Pfister's Memorial Service

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PASCO, Wash - The Westboro Baptist Church is planning to protest at Marine Sergeant Travis Pfister's memorial service, according to their website.

The group believes soldiers are incompetent and not qualified for honest work. On their website, they say God is punishing America because of the acceptance of gays.     

Jennifer Plemmons, with the group "Operation Thank You" is out to make sure Travis Pfister's family never has to see the protest.  Her group and others in the community plan to form a barricade of American Flags so the protesters can't be seen. 

She asks that the community and Hanford students and alumni show their support.  Pfister graduated from Hanford High School.     

"Show up with a flag, it doesn't matter if it is a little flag or a great big huge flag, the idea is to just kind of lend ourselves as a shield to the family," Plemmons said.     

Travis' brother, Josh Pfister said they're expecting about 1500 people at the memorial, so they're meeting with Pasco Police to discuss security. 

It will be held March 4th at 1:00 p.m. at TRAC in Pasco.

In response to the church protests, the first bill Governor Christine Gregoire passed in 2007 was one that requires all protestors to stay at least 500-feet away from any funeral or memorial service for a fallen soldier.