Sgt. Michael Guillory, a U.S. Marine killed in action in Afghanistan, will be laid to rest Saturday at noon in Slidell. Friends of the Guillory family are concerned a group of protesters could show up to try and disrupt the event.
Jennifer Gauley says the Westboro Baptist Church had posted on its web site that it plans to demonstrate at the funeral for Sgt. Guillory, so she and her friends are taking action.
"What we're trying to do is recruit a group of people to show up at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium Saturday around 10:30," Gauley said. "We want to create a human shield to protect the family and their privacy."
Westboro Baptist has picketed other fallen troops' funerals, saying American service members die because the country tolerates homosexuality. They threatened to disrupt the funerals for the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings this week, but as of Friday afternoon none have shown up.
"We have about 1,300 people that have pledge to be there," Gauley said. "What we would like to do is create the circle wide enough that the family has all the privacy they can get, so we're hoping for at least 2,000."
Gauley says since she and her friends began their effort, the statement on the Westboro Baptist site has been taken down, but they don't want to leave anything to chance.