A military funeral service was held in Raeford for a North Carolina National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson, 29, was one of three members of the Winterville-based 514th Military Police Company killed October 1 by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Her body arrived Friday at Pope Army Air Field on Fort Bragg.
Hundreds of Patriot Guard Riders and other community supporters formed a human wall around the Raeford Presbyterian Church to shield the family from The Westboro Baptist Church who made it public that they would picket the service. Nearly 1,500 more people lined the streets of downtown Raeford waving flags and signs that they made to show their support for the family and friends.
Thanks to the human wall effort, the members of Westboro Baptist Church did not stay longer than 10 minutes to protest.