This Soldier Just Wanted To Be With His Mother For Christmas, What Got In His Way Broke My Heart

Soldiers know that when they join the military, they’re signing up to potentially die for their country. That shouldn’t mean they’re signing to potentially die in their own country.

Even though the oath that all service members take says they’ll defend America against ALL enemies foreign and domestic, it’s never at the forefront of any soldiers mind that they’ll actually be called on to defend against the domestic angle. Especially in Austin’s case.

Austin was leaving an annual parade in Philadelphia with his family, the Mummers parade. That’s when a large group of individuals began taunting him because of the Army jacket he was wearing.

Lori Freni, his mother, says that he was home visiting for the holidays, and describes how that peace was shattered by a group of thugs.

“[A] Group of 10-15 guys walked by me (making) derogatory comments towards Austin’s Army jacket. Me and his girlfriend tried pulling them off and they hit us. We got hit in the face. She got thrown in the street,”

She feared for his life, and says that his recovery will be extensive.

“He’s got to get plates put in his jaw and his mouth will be wired shut for the next eight weeks.”


Austin wasn’t originally going to be able to come home for Christmas, until a kind stranger donated the money. Lori was struggling to makes ends meet, since her husband had recently passed away from Brain Cancer.


Our men and women who voluntarily serve in our military never deserve to be treated like this. Pray that the cowards who did this to Austin will be arrested by the police and brought to justice.