Apparently the Westboro Baptist Church is picketing a fallen soldier here at Texas A&M on Nov 10. Our soldiers have fought and continue to fight for OUR rights, and should be respected and loved for their sacrifice regardless of sexual orientation. Such a hateful organization will never be welcome at this amazing university. Monday morning on Nov 10, you can definitely find me in the maroon wall to block their hate.

Something for me to proud of from A&M.

After Lt. Col Roy Tisdale, a Texas A&M alum, passed away on June 28th following being shot during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, the A&M community began to grieve for the loss of a loved member of the Aggie family. However, when news of Westboro Baptist Church’s intentions to picket the funeral of the decorated soldier reached the community, several Aggies decided to organize a silent human “Maroon Wall” to surround College Station’s Central Baptist Church and preserve the sanctity of the funeral for the fallen commanding officer and his family.

Ryan Slezia, a co-organizer of the “Maroon Wall” and a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M, created the event on Facebook with several other alums and classmates after he saw Westboro’s announcement. The fundamentalist church, an anti-gay hate group, claims that “war casualties are divine revenge for America tolerating gays and lesbians” and has long protested at the funerals of celebrities, soldiers, and others with messages such as “Pray For More Dead Soldiers.” Ultimately, over 600 Aggies arrived in the blistering Texas summer heat to link arm-in-arm in a heartening display of loyalty and compassion.

In the end, no Westboro members were spotted at the funeral or the burial site, possibly deciding to forgo the protest after hearing about the human wall.

According to the press statement written by Ryan Slezia and his two other co-organizers, Lily McAlister and Chris Rowan, the Texas A&M community acted to allow one of their community members be laid to rest in respect and peace:

The purpose of “The Maroon Wall” event is to show our support and gratitude to the family of Lt Col. Roy Tisdale and to join them in honoring his memory at his memorial service and funeral. We are standing to honor the memory of Lt Col. Roy Tisdale and the sacrifices both he and his family have made for this country along with the contributions they have made to this community. We stand together as a show of solidarity towards this family in their time of mourning and in defense of their right to grieve their loss in peace.

Following the events of the funeral, Tisdale’s family added a statement to his formal obituary tribute:

Lt. Col. Roy Lin Tisdale is survived by his wife Kim, his children Megan and Roy Lane Tisdale, his mother Linda Tisdale, brother SFC Charles D. Tisdale, USA, father-in-law, Jim Corbett, brothers-in-law Steven Corbett, Jason Corbett, and their families…and countless friends.”

Dawn Lee Wakefield commented on the incident for the

As of the afternoon of July 5, 2012, it can be added that Lt. Col. Roy Lin Tisdale, Texas Aggie Class of ’92, is survived by the Maroon Wall, a tribute symbolic of the love, respect and honor of former students for their fellow Aggie. No better example can be found of just what it means to be part of the Texas Aggie family. The most powerful statement of all against hate was made, in complete, reverent silence.

–Angela Guo

It might just be my Aggie spirit, but every time I hear about a member/members of our family doing something generous and grateful to others, it just brings tears to my eyes. Today is one of the many days when I’m reminded of how proud I am to be part of the Aggie family. The love and compassion that we have towards each other, even though we’re all strangers, is amazing. Proud to be an Aggie

Connie ‘15

Maroon walls

“You sound like your dad when you drink”

I always talk mad shit on my dad.
I call him an asshole.
I say he is the devil.
And he is.
And I am his daughter.
His eyes are my eyes.
His voice is my voice.
The way he speaks and drinks resonates within me.
I am my father’s child.
He is cold and manipulative.
He can turn on and off his humanity like a fucking light switch.
He can detach himself completely from the woman he loves.
I am my father’s child.
Tonight alcohol ran through me like water.
It pulsed through me like my blood.
She touched my leg and I almost grabbed her fucking throat and took her to the back room.
I wanted to tell her that I was going to fuck her and use her for my own sadistic needs.
I was going to smash her pretty head against the maroon walls of this place just so I can feel something.
I am the devil.
But even the devil thinks these thoughts and refrains.
Sure I could have taken her but the thought gave me no pleasure.
So I drank and drank some more.
And I smoked until I could feel my head lift off my body.
I went to the mirror and saw my father’s Amber eyes.
I vaguely remember her saying
“Your eyes are light brown even in this dark room I like them”
My mother calls them hellfire eyes.
I could only imagine why.
And tonight I gave into the parts of my father that I hate.
Alcoholism is in my pedigree.
His eyes are just the finishing piece.

Chapter I, lola

(In a small ballroom, small wooden dance floor and a small disco ball hanging in the center of the room. Pink walls and maroon curtains draped around the dance floor)

  The excitement is all in my heart. It’s going to fail eventually but not today, because it’s her heaven. This is the first place she woke up today I am the first and only thing she’s gong to see for the next 3 hours and as it flys buy I wonder how many times she’s going to wonder how it is she got here from where she was thirty seven years ago. Because the last time she fell asleep was thirty-seven years ago. This is her heaven. For now.