Rest in Peace Laura Froehlich, A.K.A. Flag Mama | Moreno Valley, CA
Moreno Valley suffered a great loss when Laura Froehlich passed away August 1st at the age of 63. Froehlich was known as the “Flag Mama” for her dedication to sending off troops and welcoming them home, as well as her patriotic attire.
As chairperson of the Moreno Valley Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, Froehlich mobilized volunteers to provide thousands of troops with food, places to relax, and meetings with their desired clergy. She was also a longtime coordinator of Moreno Valley’s annual Fourth of July Parade.
Oscar Valdepena, a friend of Froehlich, described her personality as unique, adding that she was always determined to send off and welcome home all troops she could, day or night. Valdepena also said, “She was the backbone of that (military affairs) committee.”
Froehlich’s goal was to provide a sense of “home” for the troops she met; she wanted to give them a sense that they were loved and cared for. Froehlich was a founder of the base’s Hangar 385, which is furnished with big-screen televisions, videos, and showers for all the troops. Like the troops she helps, she too served in the military, specifically the Air Force, giving her a sense of purpose and respect for her country. In 2004, Laura greeted former president George W. Bush when he arrived on base.
U.S. Air Force Mast Sgt. Linda Welz said, “She always seemed happy and she was a hugger. She was selfless when it came to devoting her time and resources.”
Growing up on the wild side, she would often joke about the tattoos on her arms and legs, which she has in order to connect with the troops she supported – each troop member was very important to her. It was always about them, as far as she was concerned.
credit: LORA HINES | The Press-Enterprise