TEMPLE (December 15, 2012)--After losing her only child while he was serving Afghanistan, Mary Wyscarver was too devastated to decorate her house for Christmas like she normally does every year, but she found something that changed her mind.
"I wasn't going to decorate for Christmas since my son passed away in April, but I ran across an ornament when I was rummaging around the back room, and I thought why not mix patriotism with Christmas?" Wyscarver said.
Her only child was 30-year-old Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Fankhauser, who was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan in April.
Fankhauser served four tours in Iraq, and he was on his second tour in Afghanistan when he came across the bomb that killed him.
Joe's ornament reminded her of her fallen hero so much that it motivated her to do something to honor his memory and his favorite holiday.
"He always gave and wanted to share with everyone, especially Christmas, his favorite time of year," Wyscarver said.
Today, Wyscarver pulled out her Christmas decorations and every patriotic thing she had to honor our service men and women and her faith.
"It's our Lord and Savior's birth," Wyscarver said.
"He was able to give us freedom over sin and salvation just like our service men are keeping our country free so you're free to worship in this country."
She hopes her unique tribute reminds every person who sees it the magic of Christmas and those who helped make it possible.
"We still have 68,000 troops that are not going to be home for Christmas this year, and we have approximately 2,000 M.I.A. and P.O.W.s that will never get to come home for Christmas, and I don't want people to forget that we still have people overseas," Wyscarver said.