Army veteran's home damaged in fire, impacting her service project efforts

Mary Ingrassia, better known as Navy Mom Mary, can fold a miniature flag in seconds. 

We timed her when she folded six flags in about two-and-a-half minutes. 

"I can fold these things with my eyes closed," said Navy Mom Mary at a table at Mission BBQ.

Her eyes are closed, but her heart is wide open.  The Army veteran folds and creates flag pins to hand out in honor of her son, her husband – both Navy veterans – and all those who served.  Her customized pins honor every branch of the military. 

"I've been sending these out nationwide," said Navy Mom Mary, "Remembrance of those who were left behind. Who never came home." 

She's been creating pins and other craft projects for veterans for over a decade.  All of them are given away for free. However, those fast fingers have been forced to slow down.

"I got a call from Casselberry Police saying my house was on fire," said Navy Mom Mary. 


That fire last week mainly damaged their roof --- but it was enough to force them out of their home. Her personal belongings and all the equipment needed for their service projects were left behind.

"Can't carry the heat press. It's huge. Over 200 something pounds," said Navy Mom Mary. 

The requests are still coming in, and thanks to the help of her friends, she's been able to crank out some orders. 

She is concerned, though, that some of her equipment may have been too damaged by the fire to continue. 

"If I can't do these, I'm afraid my heart will totally give in. This is my life. This is who I am," said Navy Mom Mary. 

She says some of the equipment, like her computer, is at the repair shop to see if it's salvageable. 

In a report from Seminole Fire, officials noted that a downed power line appeared to have ignited items between Mary's home and her next-door neighbor.