View Full Version : War foe's grandson is killed in Iraq

05-09-06, 03:34 AM
War foe's grandson is killed in Iraq
By Greg Jonsson
Monday, May. 08 2006


Leon "Bud" Deraps has spent years opposing the war in Iraq, concerned about the
death toll, the impact on U.S. troops and innocent Iraqis.

This weekend, Deraps found a more personal reason when he learned that the
grandson named after him, a Marine, was killed in the war he opposes.

The Iraqi people "are not the enemy, but we're making enemies out of them," he
said. "We never should have been there in the first place."

Lance Cpl. Leon Deraps, 19, of Jamestown, Mo., was killed Saturday when a
roadside bomb blew up near his vehicle in Fallujah, family members said.
Jamestown is southwest of Columbia, Mo. The Defense Department had not yet
confirmed his death Monday evening.

Bud Deraps of St. Louis is a member of St. Louis-based Veterans for Peace, a
national group of military veterans founded in 1985. The organization has been
active locally and nationally in protesting the war in Iraq.

He also ran unsuccessfully for alderman in St. Louis' 24th Ward in 2003 as the
Green Party candidate.

Bud Deraps said his grandson signed up for the Marines when he was 17 and left
for basic training shortly after graduating last year.

Other members of the Deraps family declined to speak to a reporter.

The elder Deraps said he does counter-recruitment work at schools and colleges,
focusing on the physical and emotional impact of the war on American troops.

He said he had sent some anti-war information to his grandson.

Bud Deraps, who served in the Navy during World War II and went to Iraq in 2001
to help rebuild water treatment systems, said his grandson's death has only
increased his opposition to the war.

Guardsman killed

On Friday, another Missourian was killed in Iraq when a bomb exploded near his
vehicle. Pfc. Alva L. Gaylord, a member of the Missouri National Guard, was
killed in the attack near Qasr Ar Riyy, south of Baghdad.

Gaylord, 25, was from Carrollton, Mo. He was a member of Company C, 110th
Engineer Battalion from Lexington, Mo.