"We discovered that the young Marines at the Willow Grove Naval Airbase and other military there, the Army and Navy, really didn't have any place to eat Christmas day…so we decided to ask our friends and neighbors for help feeding them and they've come through," Andrea Mangold said.
This year, they had more food than ever, thanks to the efforts of Fran and Bob Dembowski.
The Dembowski's son, Private 1st Class Robert Dembowski Jr., was killed in Iraq in May 2007.
They last saw him at Fort Bragg on Christmas Eve two years ago. He worked that Christmas.
"When I got her e-mail, it just clicked. I wondered if Bobby got through that day because he had to work. I called Angie and said I have a lot of people I can e-mail with this, are you sure you want that much food?" Fran Dembowski said.
Once Fran Dembowski e-mailed her fellow Gold Star mothers about the Mangolds' Feed-the-Troops effort, some 30 families contributed. Casseroles and cookies, pasta and pizzelles, each platter filled not just with food, but with love.
"That's where it gets really poignant because those are the women that say I wish this could have been done for my son or I would like to think somebody in the world would have done this," Andrea said.
The Mangolds have received thank you so they know just how much their efforts and those of their neighbors are appreciated.
More coverage for the holidays from 6abc.com
- SLIDES: Action News Holiday Memories
- INTERACTIVE: Recipes for the 12 days of cookies!
- INTERACTIVE: Guide to green gifts
- SLIDES: Relive the 6abc/Ikea Thanksgiving Day Parade
- VIDEO: Performances from the 6abc/Ikea Thanksgiving Day Parade
- GOOD NEWS CHANNEL: Stories that make you feel warm and fuzzy... in that Action News kind of way
- VIDEOS: 2008 Troop Greetings