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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Veterans, Volunteers Pitch In on Day of Service

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nearly 50 volunteers, including military veterans, provided the muscle power and sweat today to help rebuild lodge pole fencing that was destroyed  by a wildfire in April at Santee's Mast Park West.

The San Diego River Park Foundation organized the service project as a local contribution to the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, which was observed by tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide.

Volunteers braved  93-degree heat and high humidity as they extracted charred fence posts from the ground and replaced them.  About 300 feet of fencing was destroyed or damaged in the wildfire. Despite the hard, gritty work, the volunteers had no trouble smiling for our camera.

About half of the volunteers were from The Mission Continues, a  nonprofit group that recruits active duty  and retired military veterans for community service projects.

“Our mission is to engage in the community and make a significant impact,” said Al Lejarde, a volunteer platoon leader with the group.

The volunteers from The Mission Continues included active duty sailors from the USS Boxer and residents of Veterans Village of San Diego, a nonprofit group that helps homeless veterans.

The wooden fencing at Mast Park West  helps protect sensitive wildlife habitat along the river just east of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course.

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