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Newsmaker: Chris Blessing

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Newsmaker: Christopher Blessing

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Lou Kilzer
Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Noteworthy: The Salvation Army captain organized about 300 Thanksgiving meals for the disadvantaged and prepared to serve them at the organization's Braddock Worship and Service Center, 300 Holland Ave. in Braddock.

Age: 35

Family: Wife, Jennifer, also a Salvation Army captain

Residence: Braddock

Background: Blessing has spent his adult life dedicated to the work of The Salvation Army. He started at age 5, when his family was helped during a critical period by The Salvation Army in Lewistown. He soon began volunteering to stir kettles at Salvation Army events and later joined its ranks full-time.

Education: Graduate of Lewistown High School; associate degree in occupational studies at The Salvation Army's School for Officer Training in Suffern, N.Y.

Quote: “I just love the people. This is my mission. The Army blessed my family when we were struggling, and I feel I should give back. They taught me to read music and play drums. Thanksgiving meals will be great. You get turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries, everything.”

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