A soldier who was gifted with a plane ticket to see his widowed mother on Christmas saw his holiday turn to horror when he was left with severe facial injuries by a gang in Philadelphia, his family said.
A kind stranger had paid for Austin Freni, 19, to fly from his army base in Georgia to his mom Lori in New Jersey after spotting his GoFundMe page. He was due to fly out to the Middle East in the New Year. But while attending the annual Mummers Parade – a colorful folk festival – in Philadelphia on Sunday, 10-15 men put him in hospital because of his Army jacket, his mom told Fox 29.
Freni, his mom and girlfriend were strolling through Philadelphia after the parade when they the large group of young men walked by them and made ‘derogatory’ comments about Freni’s jacket, she said. She says that one of those men then hit Freni, and the others leaped in to attack him as well.
‘Me and his girlfriend tried pulling them off and they hit us,’ she added. ‘We got hit in the face. She got thrown in the street.’ Now Freni is in Jefferson University Hospital, facing a long road to recovery ‘He’s got to get plates put in his jaw and his mouth will be wired shut for the next eight weeks.
The shocking attack is made even more upsetting by the circumstances of Freni’s visit.
The soldier had been stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia, and was to head out to the Middle East next year. He hadn’t been able to make it home for Thanksgiving, much to the disappointment of his mom, who lost her husband to brain cancer two years ago, and later had to leave her job.
Lori was prepared to sell her things to bring her some home for Christmas, she told Fox 29 last month, but set up a GoFundMe page as a last resort.
That page was then stumbled upon by Jennifer Richardson, who then bought them the ticket outright – inspired by her own experiences with her brother, who is in the Marines.
Since the Daily Mail is too cowardly to state the obvious, I will. The attackers were more than likely in a gang, and more than likely black. When a paper deliberately doesn’t say the ethnicity of the attacker, or when they include the word “white” when describing a Hispanic as they did last week with an active shooter, it means they don’t want to reveal that the suspect was non-white or worse… an immigrant. Plain and simple. Just take a look next time an attack happens. They always say, “man” or “suspect” or “person of interest” when it’s widely observable that the attacker isn’t white. Only when the attacker is known to be white do they openly admit it, because white people are the devil. And diversity is our strength no matter how destructive it proofs to be.
This story particularly disturbed me. Not only because I’ve now learned how to read between the lines of such stories and how the media deliberately hides information, but also because it was a soldier who was attacked. Someone who was willing to go overseas and fight for America’s freedom was brutally attacked by the very people he was sworn to protect.
Their gratitude for this young man’s willing sacrifice is overwhelming.
Diversity + Proximity = War. And it always will.