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Marine mom remembers fallen son with military teddy bears


This Memorial Day weekend, Americans across the country are finding ways to honor those who served, including one very special mother.  When Lisa Freeman's son was killed in combat in Afghanistan, she says she wouldn't allow herself to go to a dark place. Instead, she started sewing.

For Lisa Freeman, the healing begins with her hands.

"Just pray over the uniform while I am going."

She sits and sews in a tiny upstairs room in a grand house on the Georgia coast.

"Makes me stop and think about Matthew. He was only over there 9 days when he was killed."

"Mom, dad I can never repay you for all you have done for me you made me in to 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."

Seaming together the memory of her son.

Marine Captain Matthew Freeman was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan.

"Do you still talk to him?" 

"All the time."

"What would Matthew be saying to you right now as you're sewing?"

"He's loving that something good is happening out of something so tragic."

"What are you thinking about?"

"I can tell you as I'm doing this I am thinking about the young woman who brought me these. This was her brother Shannon Chihuhua'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.  Thats my Shannon bear. Shannon Chihuhua. Thank you for your service."

Bears lovingly made from the combat uniforms of the fallen.

"Can you stick your hand in there?"

The Shannon bear might be for Specialist Shannon Chihuhua's nephews, but it's his sister Jessica who's clutching them.

"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."

Remembering her brother, killed in Afghanistan.

"It gets hard.  We just miss them,  don't we?"

"Yeah."

"That's a C-130 which is what Matthew flew."

"Maybe he's just letting us know he's happy too."

"Yep it's him."

A plane overhead, a bear in the hand are gold star signs.