Sheriff Glenn Boyer isn't looking for recognition, but he's getting it.
An email he got from a woman frustrated being stuck in traffic during the funeral procession for a soldier a couple of weeks ago is what started the whole thing.
She complained she was yelled at and felt threatened by the Patriot Guard motorcycle guys who were escorting the casket of Sgt. Brian Woods.
Sheriff Boyer says he investigated her complaint and found it "self-serving and without merit." That's what he told her in his email response among other things.
The Sheriff went on to explain to the emailer while she was stuck in traffic, soldiers just like Sergeant Woods were busy carrying 100 pounds of equipment in 120-degree heat up a mountain. He also told her protecting her right to complain is the reason Sergeant Woods fought and died for his country.
"To me, that's the irony of it. That's the whole point," said Boyer
In the last few days the Sheriff's in box has filled up with more than 200 emails on the topic... all but a couple in support of his response. This wasn't his goal but he says if this causes the next person stuck in traffic during a funeral procession (military or otherwise) perhaps they'll think more about the deceased and their grieving family and not feel so inconvenienced.
Get this, though.
After my story aired, my wife (who reports for a competing station) told me she covered the story the night of Sgt. Woods funeral and interviewed some of the motorcycle guys.
When she got back to her newsroom she had a raving, ranting voicemail from a woman complaining about being stuck in traffic and how the motorcycle guys were rude to her and shouldn't have been portrayed in the positive light my wife's story portrayed them in. The woman left her name and number but figuring she was a nut, my wife deleted it.
That had to be her! Dang! We could have called her for her response to all this.
It's doubtful we're going to find out who she is which may be just as well. The Sheriff says he's not going to make her name public. His feeling is she has a right to her opinion and doesn't need to deal with hundreds of rude comments and possible threats.
He has a point. This woman's life would likely be turned upside down and while many people may be disgusted by her apparent lack of respect for the war dead, she really didn't do anything beyond lodge a complaint with the Sheriff, something everyone has a right to do (thanks to people like Sgt. Woods).
If this woman wants to defend her comments and actions with the email, she can let us know and we'll come talk to her. If I'm her, I just try to let this go away.
Read on to completely understand why.
UPDATE: A KMOV viewer suggest how great it would be to turn this woman's negative email into something positive for the daughters of Sgt. Brian Woods. There's a benefit for them in House Springs on October 3rd in Durham Park from 3pm to 9pm. To volunteer or donate an item for silent auction contact email@example.com.