El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Fort Bliss officials are speaking out about plans by the controversial Westboro Baptist Church to protest the memorial service of five Fort Bliss soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan.
A memorial service is scheduled at 1 p.m. May 22 for First Lieutenant Brandon Landrum, Staff Sergeant Francis Philips IV, Specialist Kevin Cardoza, Specialist Thomas Murach and Specialist Brandon Prescott.
The soldiers killed May 4 in a roadside bomb attack.
According to the Westboro Baptist Church website, members plan to protest outside of the 1AD chapel on Fort Bliss from 12:15 p.m.- 1 p.m.
The Westboro Baptist Church is known to protest at the funerals of fallen soldiers across the country holding hateful, anti-military signs.
Fort Bliss Spokesman Major Joe Buccino released the following statement:
"Fort Bliss is going to protect our fallen heroes and their families. At
this point, no one in the community should have a concern about the planned
protest on behalf of the Westboro Baptist Church, as this installation is
well-equipped to deal with this protest without infringing on this somber
occasion. There is nothing more important to this installation and this
community then properly honoring those who we lost in combat. We will
ensure that the memorial ceremony honors our fallen with the dignity and
compassion they deserve."