California Mother Outraged After Vandals Snatch Flags From Son's War Memorial

A California mother is outraged after thieves "robbed from the grave" when they stole the American flags from a memorial for her son who died fighting in Afghanistan.

Marsha Gonsalves, of Turlock, Calif., said she put up 34 new ones outside her home when vandals snatched the four American flags decorating the memorial last week.

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

Gonsalves' son, Army 1st Sgt. Chad Gonsalves, was killed in 2006 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, along with three of his comrades. Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of his death.

Gonsalves said she and her husband, Larry, had arranged a small memorial on the couple's front lawn, honoring her son and the other soldiers, with a "Freedom Isn't Free" sign and the four American flags. She said she noticed thieves snapped the flags off last week when she went outside to collect her mail.

Now, Gonsalves said her California home is adorned with 34 flags -- some tied to pistachio trees and others hanging from polls.

"To the person who did this, I will never stop putting my flags up," Gonsalves said.

Click to read more on vandals who stole flags from soldier's grave from Fox 40