"By AUDREY PARENTE Staff Writer
Barbara Juszkiewicz aches to see her son during the holidays. The visit won't happen this year, because Army 1st Sgt. Scott Juszkiewicz is thousands of miles away, ducking bullets and dodging improvised explosive devices in Iraq.
'I haven't seen my son since January 2007, and it's really sad to know it's not just going to be my holiday, but he has a wife and two children who also will miss him,' said the Port Orange mom. 'He took part of my heart with him, and it won't be whole again until he comes back safe and sound.'
Another effort is from Blue Star Mothers. While member moms ship packages to their own children, they also include the entire units and children of other locals serving over there. "Our nine members send things to their own children, but we are collecting for their units," said Judy Crews, president. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org with names and addresses.
"We want to benefit those from our own backyard." Blue Star Mothers drop boxes are at various locations. One Blue Star mom, Kelly Lowe of Ormond Beach, said her son, Army Spec. Daniel Lowe, 22, a Mainland High School graduate, is on his second Iraq tour. "He was also gone for the 2005 holidays," she said. "I have a huge family -- 60 members -- in this area, but it's definitely noticeable when my son is not there when we get together, so we say a prayer for him.""