A Mom's Mission for Her Fallen Son

UPDATED 07/06/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/06/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT

Two months after her eldest shipped out to Iraq in 2006, Mary Conboy of Philadelphia got a call. "Mom, the bunks stink. Can you send sheets and pillows?" asked Marine Lance Cpl. Adam Conboy, 21. Oh, he added, please ship 40 sets—enough for everyone in his unit. Mary had started to do just that when news arrived that Adam had been killed—shot by a fellow Marine, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Raw with grief, Mary started Operation Bedding (www.adamconboymemorialfund.org); soliciting donations from the community, she's shipped some 10,000 packages to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I loved the pillows—I felt like I was at home," says Sgt. Regina Calder, 38, of Somerset, Ky. The comfort flows both ways. "Doing this, I feel Adam's right next to me," says Mary, 48. "He's saying, 'You go, Mom.'" Know a hero? Send suggestions to heroesamongus@peoplemag.com?

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters