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By Mike Sprague - 8/12/2014


Life can be difficult for the children of military service personnel, especially when their mothers or fathers return injured, or worse, are killed in the line of duty. Those children working to gain an education often find themselves with a lack of guidance and the financial resources to attend the schools of their choice.

But those burdens were made a bit easier for two children of soldiers as they were awarded $5,000 scholarships each received Tuesday.

Andrew Rowe, 13, of Whittier, the son of the late First Sgt. Blue Rowe, will continue attending Whittier Christian Junior High School. And Shelby Robles, 18, of Long Beach, whose father, Staff Sgt. Charles Robles, was injured five years ago in Iraq, will go to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz., where she plans to become a nurse and eventually work for Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Robles and Rowe received their scholarships during what turned into an emotional afternoon ceremony at Triangle Distributing Co., which had donated the scholarship money to Folds of Honors Foundation, which helps children and spouses of soldiers killed or disabled on duty.

“Thank you so much,” said Rowe’s mother, Cindy, who then started crying in appreciation.

“I know my husband is looking down and saying, ‘Cry me a handful,” she said. “I know he’s watching us.”

Blue Rowe was killed May 26, 2010 by an improvised bomb in Panjshir, Afghanistan.

Cindy Rowe said her son still would be able to attend Whittier Christian without the scholarship but it would have been difficult.

Robles also thanked Triangle for the scholarship.

“Being a military child, it’s been really hard,” she said. “To be able to go on this adventure will be great,” she said.

Without the scholarship – she learned about two months that she would get it – she wouldn’t be able to go to the private university, Robles said. She starts school in September.

Her father was hit by an IED in 2009 in Iraq and is now retired.

Peter Heimark, president of Triangle, said these were the first two scholarships presented by his company. The money was raised by the company, its employees and customers.

“It was inspired by folks at Anheuser-Busch, the brewery,” said Heimark whose company distributes beverages, including beer, on why they chose to take part in the Folds of Honors Foundation.

“(The brewery) wanted to do something meaningful for service people,” he said. “It really resonated with us.”

Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Cerritos, who was present at the ceremony, praised the scholarship program.

“This is a fantastic foundation that gives scholarships to children of men who are killed or disabled while serving their country. “We can’t thank our families enough.”