Mother’s mission to keep son’s memory alive helping families of the fallen

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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. – A mother’s touching tribute to her son is giving hope and comfort to others.

Lisa Freeman’s son, Matthew, was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. and was only in Afghanistan for nine days when he was killed.

Freeman says she wouldn’t allow herself to go to a dark place.

Instead, she started sewing.

She said, “Just pray over the uniform while I am going.”

These days, she sits and sews in a tiny upstairs room in a house on the Georgia coast.

She said, “Makes me stop and think about Matthew. He was only over there nine days when he was killed.”

Freeman will take a break and often read some of Matthew’s letters, bringing his memory back to life.

She read, “Mom, dad, I can never repay you for all you have done for me. You made me into the man I am today. I hope that I have made you proud, that has always been my goal. I love you both so much.”

After Marine Cpt. Matthew Freeman was killed in combat, his mother began collecting clothing from other fallen soldiers and creating a treasured keepsake for the families.

She said, “This was her brother, Shannon Chihuahua’s, pants and when she first came to me, she just wanted to talk about her brother and how much she missed him. And so for her, this is just one more thing that she can say, ‘That’s your uncle Shannon’s. That’s my Shannon bear.’ Shannon Chihuahua, thank you for your service.”

Each bear is lovingly made from the combat uniforms of the fallen.

Jessica Frausto, Spc. Shannon Chihuahua’s sister, said, “When my kids are grown and older, even for me, it’s something that we’ll always have. And we’ll always have his memories.”

To remember her son and other fallen heroes, the Georgia woman turns their uniforms into treasured keepsakes in the form of teddy bears.

Cpt. Matthew Freeman was a Naval Aviator and was killed on August 7, 2009.

He was 29-years-old.

Spc. Shannon Chihuahua was an Army medic and was killed on November 12, 2010.

He was just 25-years-old.


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