The Scars Within Us and the Landscape

April 22, 2018
By David Riera, Mission Continues volunteer

My experience in war-torn Iraq makes me reflect that the land under my feet this very moment in Miami is also embattled, and this time the mission to help it belongs to all of us.

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When I was discharged from the Marine Corps, I had a collection of over 40 MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) Tabasco sauce bottles filled with sand from every place I was deployed in Iraq. They reminded me of my bond to the places I would sooner forget.

As the CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter flew us to secure our first target in Iraq, I saw the landscape cracked and cratered. The sand was piled high to create 10-foot defensive burms. The lakes and streams were poisoned, littered with rotting carcasses. In that moment the price of conflict was grafted onto me.

That’s when I knew scorched earth operations did not just change the land – it changed me too. It was not just about the loss of human life on all sides. It was also about trying to survive in a place where our missions violated the environment every day.

Because the environment, like a warrior, carries its history upon its face.

April 22nd, 2018|All|

Volunteering Is the New Network

April 20, 2018
By Brian Wilson, Mission Continues alumnus

Brian Wilson is a Mission Continues Fellowship Alumnus and a veteran of the US Army. He is currently the Creative Technology Manager at Combined Arms in Houston, Texas. 

I have volunteered since I was 12. My dad talked to a person at the Parks and Recreation department in our small town and for six hours a week I pulled weeds at parks and picked

April 20th, 2018|All|

Columbus Ohio 1st Service Platoon Tackles Food Insecurity

April 19, 2018
By Ian Haynes, City Impact Manager

We had an amazing service project recently in Columbus Ohio to kick off our partnership with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank! Our volunteer operations are focused on combating food insecurity on the Southside of the city through work with an urban farm and multiple food pantries. We had 34 volunteers participate, comprised of 14 veterans and 4 new platoon members. This amounted to 136 service hours in which we completed four projects at two sites.

April 19th, 2018|All|

Introducing David Diaz, Vice President of Regional Operations

April 13, 2018

We recently welcomed veteran David Diaz to The Mission Continues as our Vice President of Regional Operations. Here’s a sneak preview of the impact David plans to bring to the team.

 

How do you plan to support the mission as its new VP of Regional Operations?

I plan to support the mission of The Mission Continues by synchronizing our program execution for maximum impact. I see my

April 13th, 2018|All|

The Path to Transforming Veterans and Dallas Public Schools

April 6, 2017

Finding That Connection

“I felt for the first time like we were on the same page while volunteering for the service project,” said Nissa Salas, a Mission Continues volunteer in Dallas.

Nissa met her husband Mark Salas after he had separated from the U.S. Marine Corps. Nissa noticed Mark had a hard time relating to her and to other civilians. “He had only one or two friends, and did not trust anyone. His habits were very much military-style and he was shut down from any social activity,” she said.

At the recommendation of their counselor, Nissa and Mark tried volunteer service with The Mission Continues.

Nissa describes their first project. “Our first assignment was painting a computer lab at the Interfaith Housing building, when my husband had just experienced knee surgery. We participated while he was on crutches, and my husband had a smile on his face the entire time.”

April 6th, 2018|All|

In Pittsburgh, the Story of How I Made My Veteran Identity Meaningful

March 29, 2018
By Patricia Gerhauser, Platoon Leader

Patricia Gerhauser is a Navy veteran and Mission Continues rockstar. She is not only a fellowship alumna, but is supervising a current fellow, and platoon leader for the Hazelwood Platoon in Pittsburgh, Pa. Patricia was recently selected to attend this year’s Women Veterans Leadership Summit. Read her story to get to know one of our kickass attendees.

March 29th, 2018|All|

Women Reflect on Leading with #HerMission

March 28, 2018

Her Mission

“I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” -Malala Yousafzai

Across the country, our women veterans have been raising their voices through service on behalf of children, families, and neighborhoods in need. They’ve helped youth to learn about healthy eating, caregivers to open pathways to economic success, and communities to rally around safe and uplifting public spaces.

The #HerMission campaign is our effort to not only recognize those successes and the incredible women who fuel The Mission Continues, but also to unify and catalyze a diverse group of women veterans who will shape our future.

It began last year in Pittsburgh, where the Hazelwood Platoon created the very first #HerMission project, with over 50 women veterans, family members, staff, and residents of the Hazelwood community helped renovate the library at Center of Life community empowerment organization.

This past weekend, nearly 150 women in Boston, Lowell, Pittsburgh, New York City, Newark, and central Florida came together to collectively raise their voices, and their call to act will reverberate for generations.

Their collective impact was worth over $20,000 dollars of labor. Here are reflections from a few volunteers on what the experience meant to them.

March 28th, 2018|All|

The Start of a New Mission in Puerto Rico

March 24, 2018

It’s been six months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and U.S. Army veteran Frankie Perez is on a mission to galvanize veterans to build a legacy of service on the island.

To understand his mission, you have to understand Frankie’s story and what this would mean to veterans in Puerto Rico.

The youngest of 10 brothers, Frankie was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He enlisted in the military just months before the

March 24th, 2018|All|

Continuing Progress, Continuing the Mission

March 23, 2018

Over the past few weeks, The Mission Continues has been pushing forward in our mission to empower veterans and communities in service. Unfortunately, we have also been a part of an on-going news cycle surrounding the reported actions of Eric Greitens and the Greitens for Governor campaign. The stories surrounding the Greitens investigations continue to cite connections to The Mission Continues. We are supporting various document requests and are fully cooperating with the agencies that are reviewing this situation. We look forward to the completion of those efforts in a timely manner.

We are committed to providing you with the latest information as it pertains to our organization and our involvement in supporting the Missouri-based agencies who are investigating the Governor. Most importantly, we want you to be confident that we are building on and advancing our mission toward even greater impact on veterans and communities.

March 23rd, 2018|All|

Divided We Serve

March 15, 2018
By Lauren DelRicci, Platoon Member

Volunteering with The Mission Continues has exposed me to people that come from all walks of life

We live in a time when our nation is divided along many lines. Political affiliations, religious beliefs, and personal convictions all set people apart. We hold tight to our beliefs and our individuality, pledging allegiance to the causes we deem worthy.

There is nothing wrong with that.

Because I see that this division stems from the passion that American citizens have for the land we call home. Ultimately, we all want the best outcomes for our country; we strive for brotherhood and unity. We are all unique, and no two people are exactly the same.

I believe that’s what makes us strong as a nation.

And yet, among this division, there is an even more powerful force that can draw even the most divided close.

This force is service!

When we shift our focus to serving as a unit, which I’ve learned is The Mission Continues way, something occurs that is hard to put into words. It illuminates the human spirit.

March 15th, 2018|All|