Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation on mission to provide scholarships to military children

MURRIETA, Calif. (KABC) -- Their mothers and fathers gave the ultimate sacrifice. Now, a local organization is helping the children of those fallen soldiers, by giving them support to get through college.

Anthony Pallanes is one of those children of veterans. His father, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Pallanes, died in 2004 in a service related accident.

"What I'd like people to know most is that he was a very caring and loving person, and he was someone who always did his best," said Pallanes.

When Anthony began college at Azusa Pacific University, he learned of Children of Fallen Patriots. It is an organization that provides scholarships and counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

"We're really helping out a very challenged part of the population. And then God forbid you lose a parent, I don't care who you are, your chances of graduating from college are incredibly diminished," said Christopher Heffernan, president of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation.

Anthony says with the organization's financial help, he was able to graduate from college -- debt free. Now, he works with the nonprofit to help others like him.

"It means the world to me that I get to be that person for someone else," said Pallanes. "And that's what I want to continue to be doing."

Heffernan says over 20 years, Children of Fallen Patriots has put about 2,200 children through college, and has given about $54 million in scholarships. He says the biggest reward is seeing how much the recipients accomplish.

"I get to see guys like Anthony grow up and thrive and, you know, become impressive young adults, and it is just, it is incredible to watch," said Heffernan.

"I honestly believe in the fact that no one is an island, and no one gets to where they are completely by themselves," said Pallanes. "And I think that's especially true for myself."

For more information, visit www.fallenpatriots.org.

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