Making a Disabled Vet's Wish Come True During Military Appreciation Month

Grant-A-Wish Campaign to Provide Baby Nursery to Mother and Newborn in Pendleton Area

May is designated National Military Appreciation Month, recognizing those who support and sacrifice for loved ones serving in uniform. To show its appreciation, Pioneer Services, a division of MidCountry Bank, has teamed up with the nonprofit A Million Thanks and their Grant-A-Wish campaign to provide Sergeant Juan Mendez (ret) a baby nursery for his fiancé and newborn when they get home from the hospital.

Sgt. Mendez had multiple deployments with the Marine Corps over a 12-year career, including squad leader with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines in Fallujah, Iraq as part of OIF. A recipient of several personal decorations, he was medically discharged after being diagnosed with PTSD and other conditions in 2011. His disabilities continue to make work difficult, placing a financial strain on him and his family.

His only wish is to provide his fiancé and newborn child a “baby nursery” when they get home from the hospital, with basic items like a crib, bedding, changing table, stroller, infant swing, etc.  Helping Sgt. Mendez will offer him peace of mind knowing that his family is well provided for.

“How emblematic for a Marine to think only of providing for his family and loved ones when given the opportunity for a wish,” stated Tonia Ross, regional manager for Pioneer Services and Camp Pendleton area native. “We are excited to team up with A Million Thanks in leading this effort for Sergeant Mendez and his family, and encourage others in our community to support not only this campaign, but the great work this nonprofit charity does nationwide.”

Pioneer Services works every day to show its appreciation to military families, as they have for nearly 30 years. For more information on these organizations, go to and