Chopper Spreads Cheer At
"The 4th Annual Christmas You Missed"

Written By Gerry Ashley


San Diego, CA -  In a perfect world, those brave men and women who make up our military would always be home with their families at Christmas. But it's not a perfect world and, once again, Christmas 2009 found so many of our servicemen and women thousands of miles from home in defense of our freedom.

However, on June 25th, 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)  and sponsors including Barona Casino, Waste Management of San Diego and North County, KSON,  and numerous others.  The event was held at the ASYMCA’s Murphy Canyon Youth Center location.

What would a Christmas celebration be without Children? And who better to entertain the children at Christmas than Santa Clause? But as we all know, Santa depends on helpers to get his work done. With his elves hard at work at the North Pole, preparing toys for next Christmas, Santa needed some local assistance to keep the children entertained at the event. Apparently, word is getting around about Chopper, because Santa turned to Chopper for help. It was a request that Chopper's human, Mark Shaffer, was happy to receive. “I knew Chopper would enjoy being at the event,” Shaffer said, quickly accepting the invitation on behalf Chopper  

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

To see more photos, please go to the Armed Services YMCA of San Diego's web site

To learn more about the ASYMCA and what they do the the military family's, please visit