Serving moms of those who serve -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY: "Serving moms of those who serve
Teen treats 7 mothers with sons deployed to combat zones to meal
By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer
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First published: Sunday, January 27, 2008
DELMAR -- Luke Peleggi is a firm believer in the value of community service. So when a recent family dinner conversation turned to sympathy for women who have sons at war, the thought was immediate:
What can I do?
For Peleggi, a 15-year-old sophomore at Bethlehem High School, the answer came at Cafe Mangia in Delmar, when he treated seven Blue Star Mothers -- those with children at war -- to an Italian meal in honor of their sons' military service.
"This was a joint idea between my dad and myself," said Peleggi, who split the $150 bill with restaurant management. "I've been doing community service for a while. I just like helping people, I guess."
Peleggi met each of the mothers at the door, took their coats, and led them to a long table, where a carnation had been placed on each woman's plate.
When everyone was seated, Peleggi's father, Nunzio, gave a brief statement about being proud of his son, who used money earned doing odd jobs to pay his half of the Jan. 19 lunch.
The women applauded and traded war stories as they ate. In attendance were Karen McGuire and Mary Jane Hughes of Delmar, Bonnie Perry of Albany, Peggy Snyder of Athens, Grace Kivelin of Loudonville, Kay Moody of Glenmont and Cathy Giebitz of Berne, who all have sons in either Iraq of Afghanistan.
It's not the first time Peleggi honored those with military ties. Last year, he bought a flag for veterans at Cedars Rest Home in Selkirk. He also does community service projects as part of the Lab School at Bethlehem High.
"You have to do 15 hours," Peleggi said. "I usually go over."
Before the dinner, Peleggi sent a gift package to Kay Moody's son, Army Pfc. Jeffrey Moody.
Jeffrey Moody, who is in Iraq, also went to Bethlehem High School, and plans to visit Peleggi when he returns to the United States.
"My son was so impressed," Kay Moody said.
Blue Star Mother Cathy Giebitz talked about the difficulties of having a child at war. Her son, Air Force Airman 1st Class Adam Giebitz, a police officer at a detention camp in Iraq, has been overseas for two months. She gets a phone call from him every 10 days and a short e-mail a few times per week. She spends the rest of the time worrying and wondering.
"I pick up the paper every day at 8 a.m. to see if any solders have been killed and what's going on," Giebitz said. "It's impossible to ever completely relax. I sent Adam a coat and homemade chocolate chip cookies and Goldfish crackers. That's all I can really do."
She said the luncheon, thanks to Peleggi, provided a temporary relief from the constant worry.
"Oh, he's an awesome kid," Giebitz said. "I'm glad I get to know him."
David Filkins can be reached at 454-5456 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capital Region Chapter 2 of Blue Star Mothers accepts packages and donations at Tea and Tattered Pages in the Squire Plaza, Glenmont. Contact either Darlene Ward at 872-0618 or Kay Moody at 439-8457 or check http://www.capitalregion2bsm.org "