Military Mom Devastated After Vandals Steal Flags From Son's Memorial

Lindsay Mannering

flagsSunday the 13th was the anniversary of the death of Marsha Gonsalves' son, Chad. He died serving his country in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded, killing Chad and three other soldiers in February 2006. Marsha, like so many military moms, is still healing from her loss.

To honor Army 1st Sgt. Chad and his comrades, Marsha placed four flags around their memorial. But in an act almost uncontainable, the flags were stolen by vandals. Marsha and her husband, Jerry, won't go down without a fight.

Marsh says: "My message would be, to the person who did this, I will never stop putting my flags up. This has just made me more determined."

She and Jerry, along with the help of some friends, have put up 34 flags, more than they ever had before.

Gonsalves told

How could somebody be so cruel? It's almost like robbing from the grave. This is not something a decent American person would do. That person disrespected our property, our flags, and our son and his comrades.

My heart goes out to the Gonsalves family -- this act has caused them unnecessary pain around an already tragic event. First Sergeant Gonsalves served his country proudly, and it is terribly sad that his memorial was disrespected. I can't guess what went through the minds of the people (or kids?) who stole the flags, but hopefully they will realize what egregious hurt they caused and apologize for their actions.

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Photo via bporner/Flickr

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