Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Military appreciation night held to honor families

FALLBROOK – Recently the Fallbrook Republican Women hosted an emotion-packed event to honor local military personnel and their families. Marine veteran Lance Weir and his canine companion, Satine, were very impressive. He told the large audience how important she is to him; for example, when he drops things, especially his cell phone, she picks them up for him. Weir is currently on the staff of Canine Companions. (

Shirley Fender, director of Pray and Play, has done tremendous things to help the young wives of local heroes while they are off to war. Many times the young women are by themselves, often lonely and afraid, not knowing anyone, with young children to take care. The Pray and Play group has made a difference in their outlooks. The young women who came were happy and confident and want to spread the word that they could use books, toys, things for a home, etc. They also need babysitters on Thursdays. Anyone who can help can contact Fender at [email protected].

Bonnie Campbell from Operation BIGS explained how the little children suffer when their dads leave. Her group has created a wonderful way to round up “brothers” of all ages to come in to see the little ones on a regular basis. Justin Smith, a former Marine, is now at Columbia University as a full-time student. He explained how he became close to his “little brother,” reading to him, helping with school work, or just being there. He said he wasn’t sure who benefited more from their time together. Bonnie Campbell can be reached through or [email protected] if anyone is interested in helping out. Grandfathers are also especially welcomed.

It turned out to be a memorable evening for everyone who attended.


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