Bandit Adds Cheer To The
Christmas You Missed

Written By Gerry Ashley

San Diego, CA - We take so much for granted in this country. From our freedom and the availability of commercial goods, even the promise of tomorrow.  The attack of 9/11/01 snapped us back to the reality that “Freedom” isn’t free. And since our enemies don’t take holidays off, the wonderful men and women who make up our military often find themselves away from home during the holiest if holidays, Christmas. 

On June 25th, however, San Diego military families whose loved ones were not able to be with them at Christmas got a second chance to celebrate “The Christmas You Missed” thanks to the San Diego Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA), KSON-FM, Waste Management, Raytheon, Souplantation, the San Diego Chargers, Downtown Rotary Club 33, and the Fairbanks Republican Women Federated. The event was held at the ASYMCA’s Murphy Canyon location.

Brittany Catton, PR and Development Director for ASYMCA called Mark Shaffer to request Bandit’s presence at the event since there would be a number of children in attendance.  “I knew Bandit and I would enjoy being at the event,” Mark said. He quickly  accepted the invitation on behalf of himself and Bandit.  

Then, a scant 4 weeks before the event, Bandit was rushed to the hospital where he had to have his right eye removed due to a quick-moving infection.  

“I had my doubts that Bandit would be able to bounce back in time for the event,” Shaffer said. “But I didn’t want to cancel our participation either,” he added. Fortunately for all, Bandit’s recovery went smoothly (and remarkably fast). By the time the event took place, there was Bandit entertaining the children (and the parents).

“I’m so glad Bandit was up to it,“  Shaffer explained. “Not only did everyone at the event enjoy Bandit’s appearance, but I really think it made him feel good too. For Bandit, it meant he was able to go back to what he loves best: Being the little biker dog that brings smiles to the faces of kids.” 

Shaffer pointed out that this was the second annual event. Shaffer added,“Bandit and I both look forward to the day when our soldiers don’t have to spend Christmas in a war zone.  But until then, it’s an honor for us to be part of “The Christmas You Missed.”   

To learn more about the San Diego Armed Services YMCA, click here:

For photos of this event, click here: