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Help the American Legion support family of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder Updated

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 30, 2010 01:49 PM

My stalwart friends at the American Legion have stepped up to raise funds to cover the legal expenses of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder’s family. As you all know, Snyder’s funeral was targeted by the evil miscreants of the bogus Westboro Baptist Church. The Snyders took the protesters to court. In October 2007, a jury awarded the Snyders $2.9 million in compensatory damages, $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress. It was thrown out on appeal by the Fourth Circuit. Federal judges have now ordered the family to pay $16,510 to ringleader Fred Phelps as they pursue a Supreme Court case. SCOTUS agreed earlier this month to hear the Snyders’ appeal.

Regardless of how you feel about the merits of the Snyders’ suit, the Snyders deserve to know that Americans are forever grateful for their son’s heroism and for the family’s sacrifice. We shouldn’t stand by and watch them bankrupted.

MOTHAX at The American Legion Burnpit tells me the group’s National Adjutant is seeding a fund-raising effort for the Sndyers with his own funds. The group will also be submitting an amicus brief in the Snyders’ case and intends to raise enough money to cover the court-ordered legal expenses and any other expenses incurred by the Supreme Court appeal.

They need your help.

Go here to donate now — and spread the word.

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More from Cassy Fiano in the Green Room at Hot Air.

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Allahpundit has more and the Baltimore Sun, which broke the story, has a follow-up on the outpouring of generosity and support the Synder family has received:

As news of the order to pay Westboro’s court costs spread through the media and online, strangers were moved to send money and set up funds to support Snyder’s court battle.

On Tuesday, Mark C. Seavey, new media director for the American Legion, posted a message on his Legion-affiliated blog, The Burn Pit, urging readers to donate to the Albert Snyder Fund. The American Legion’s message was picked up by conservative political blogger Michelle Malkin, who called the Westboro protesters “evil miscreants” and urged readers to donate.

“Regardless of how you feel about the merits of the Snyders’ suit, the Snyders deserve to know that Americans are forever grateful for their son’s heroism and for the family’s sacrifice. We shouldn’t stand by and watch them bankrupted,” Malkin wrote.

Money from donations will go toward covering the money owed to Phelps, and beyond that, toward preparing further appeals, Seavey said.

“As soon as we heard this we just knew that it was going to go through the roof, and people were going to be upset. We seized on it,” Seavey said. “On an issue like this that cuts across political lines, it’s relatively easy, and it’s the kind of fight we want to wade into because it’s not right or left, it’s right or wrong. We’re going to do the best we can to make sure that Mr. Snyder doesn’t have to deal with this. We’re going to make sure he doesn’t have to pay a red cent.”

In a phone interview Tuesday, Snyder said he was “exhausted” by the long legal ordeal, but heartened by the outpouring of support. He said he has received about 3,000 e-mail messages from people across the country who wanted to show their support and planned to contribute.

“It kind of restores your faith in mankind after dealing with this wacko church,” Snyder said. “Win or lose, I’ll know that I did everything I could for Matt, and for all the soldiers and Marines who are still coming home dying.”

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