In My Service Platoon, I Can See the Impact I Have Is Real

June 20, 2017
By Majken Geiman, Platoon Leader

When people ask me why I joined the Army, I usually talk about my desire to serve, wanting to challenge myself, and the satisfaction and pride that I feel being able to help my soldiers learn new skills and develop as leaders. I could gush for hours about happy I am that I signed on the dotted line at 17 years old. It would all

A Fireside Chat With Board Member Kristie Cunningham

June 16, 2017

The Mission Continues recently welcomed Kristie Cunningham, senior vice president of Communications for BAE Systems, Inc., to our Board of Directors. Kristie is responsible for leading all external and internal communications activities for BAE Systems, Inc., which means she’s the perfect fit to help us empower more veterans and strengthen our operations nationwide.

 

Service is at the core of our mission and our programs. How has service and

I Became a Gladiator for the Environment

June 5, 2017
By David Riera, Fellow

Capitol Hill is like a Roman Colosseum, complete with all the ornate statues, marble surfaces and fountains. Both attract the affluent and impoverished alike, the streets filled with merchants, guards, and citizens waiting to attend the “games.” Who would have ever thought I would find myself participating in these great political games?

I traveled to Washington D.C. with the National Parks Conservation Association to ask Congress to protect our public lands. I visited their home office, a two floor hub filled with everything an environmentalist and champion for the parks could ever hope to have in order to prepare for the lengthy battles ahead.

Operation Westside Surge: Listening to the Voices in Atlanta

June 2, 2017

With our second Mass Deployment just a week away, we wanted to check in with some of our troops based in Atlanta. Just like last year’s Operation Motown Muster, this year’s Operation Westside Surge is built from the bottom up, based on the needs from within the community and local nonprofits. The work that 75+ veterans will be accomplishing is going to give the work already being done a big boost, and help set the service platoon on the path to even greater impact in the Westside.

Perhaps the people most apt to describe what a program like Operation Westside Surge represents someone like Kimia Flournoy. She is a Westside resident, Atlanta 1st Service Platoon member, and current Mission Continues Fellow. As an Atlanta resident, Kimia feels a strong connection to Operation Westside Surge.

“When I first moved to Atlanta, I was in the Westside. I stayed in that area for a couple years, and now I know the in’s and out’s, I know the kids, I know what can be done. Mission Continues is saying, ‘we’re coming to help you do what you’re already doing, but we’re going to give you a boost up, and help you have more pride in your community.’ Once Westside Surge leaves, we will continue to make our community better — I hope we can keep the momentum up.”

Honoring the Fallen in Our Fellowships and Beyond

May 29, 2017

As part of our fellowship program, we invite fellows to dedicate their six months of service to a fallen hero. In honor of Memorial Day, some fellows were willing to share what they wrote — who they are honoring and why. The following is a selection of excerpts from what we received.

#HerMission: Women Veterans Joining Forces in San Francisco

May 25, 2017

On May 18th, 50+ women veterans gathered in San Francisco for The Mission Continues’ second annual Women Veterans Leadership Summit. These women have been impressive agents of change in their communities, using our programs to their fullest potential and beyond. The weekend, focused on professional development, networking and self-care, was packed with panels, workshops, inspirational speakers and even meditation exercises. And of course, we had a service project — because no Mission Continues event is complete without one!

Change Happens from the Ground Up, and that Starts with Me

May 23, 2017
By Mason Leist, Fellow

I was in the fifth grade when I saw the terrorist attacks of 9/11 unfold on television. Though I was only a child, the day left me with a strong desire to defend my country. The call to serve rang even louder as I grew up listening to my granddad and uncle telling stories of their time at war. I answered the call when I joined

Stepping Up to the Plate: Breaking Records in Baseball

May 19, 2017

On May 26-29th, two teams of amateur baseball players, including military veterans, will gather in the St. Louis, MO area in an attempt to break the world record of the “Longest Marathon Baseball Game” ever played. The game is being held in support of The Mission Continues in order to raise awareness for veterans. We empower veterans to reintegrate into civilian life through community service, and are excited about this opportunity to share our message with the greater population. The players will try to establish a new record of over 72 uninterrupted hours of baseball, surpassing their 2015 record of 70 hours, 9 minutes and 24 seconds.

You can join in on the fun by bidding in the silent auction or supporting the players! Prizes include a Big Cedar Lodge Get-a-Way and a Breckenridge Cabin Get-a-way.

Learning to Overcome Adversity as a Single Mom

May 14, 2017
By Stacy Munn, Fellow Alum

When I first became aware of The Mission Continues, I saw it as my chance to engage my eldest child in sustained service beyond the small acts of kindness people do on the holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Including him in the mission made me more than elated–this was an opportunity for my son to engage and observe individuals that share our family values. Seeing my son interact with active duty members and veterans at various project sites filled me with pride.

But then I realized I wanted more. Learning about The Mission Continues’ Fellowship Program absolutely changed my world, to say the least. It was a daunting, humbling and amazing six-month experience. Would I take this journey over again? Yes, in a Navy minute.

Why Are We Losing Our Veterans to Deportation?

May 12, 2017
By Carlos Luna, Fellow

You wouldn’t think veterans, their families, and Gold Star families are being deported — but they are.

What spurred me to speak to Chicago’s City Council about this is a story that’s been in the news recently about Miguel Perez Jr.. Miguel is a United States Army veteran who, after serving time for drug-related charges, is facing the possibility of being deported to Mexico, a country he hasn’t seen since he was eight. He deployed to Afghanistan twice, and has relative experience with combat and weapons. He and his family fear he will be forced to serve cartels and gangs if sent to Mexico because of his expertise.

As a veteran and President of League of United Latin American Citizens – Green Card Veterans chapter, I am driven to talk about this issue. Although we are often led to believe that this is an issue that only affects the Mexican community, the fact is that this fight for justice and equality is one that transcends ethnic differences.

When veterans return home, they are met with unemployment, reintegration challenges, lack of support, and lack of purpose. Because of this, veterans are routinely preyed upon by financial institutions, so-called educational institutions, and, in cases like Miguel, by organized crime for his knowledge of weapons and combat.