Local serviceman wins national award - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local serviceman wins national award

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CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - A local Navy chief petty officer has been chosen to receive a prestigious military award and it's thanks in part to News 8 viewers.

When we first met the Mondragon family, Chief Petty Officer Patrick Mondragon, his wife of 14 years, Violet, 9-year-old daughter Olivia and 8 year-old son, Adam, Patrick had just learned that he was one of four finalists for the Military Fatherhood of the Year Award.

"My official title is Senior Enlisted Leader for Religious Ministry the at 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing," Patrick said.

The religious program specialist, who served in the Arbian Gulf, the Persian Gulf, Somilia and recently returned from deployment in Afganistan, was being recognized for his outstanding efforts in the United through Reading program.

"Sailors that are deployed can read books to their children, while we video tape them and then we send those videos home and our kids get to watch them," Patrick explained.

"He made over 300 videos for all the Marine and Navy personnel men to send home to their families," Violet said.

When Mondragon's story original aired on News 8 in late April, we invited our viewers to log on to the Fatherhood of the Year website and vote for Patrick, and our viewers responded.

"I think that the support from the San Diego community played a big part in rallying those votes for us, winning that award," Patrick said.

In an upcoming ceremony to be held at the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar, Patrick Mondragon will receive the Fatherhood of the Year Award. He's hoping that a visit to the White House will come along with it, as it has for the previous three winners.

"I definitely wanted to thank my wife Violet, my son and daughter, our parents and our family, our friends and the San Diego community, who voted for us for this award. We're just so thankful to be honored and we're humbled," Patrick said.

Way to go, San Diego. Your votes helped give a beautiful story a very happy ending.

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