August 13, 2014
Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club sits on the corner of Kingshighway Blvd and Highway 70 in North St. Louis. In a neighborhood typically cast as economically depressed and “where gunfire still rules the night,” its easy to look over the unassuming campus that provides athletic, educational and enrichment programs for 40,000 young men and women each year.
So when The Mission Continues was recently invited to help distribute backpacks and school supplies to more than 100 kids participating in their summer school programs, it was a no-brainer.
Continue reading “A Model for the Nation”
August 12, 2014
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait: A humbling and hilarious collision of military tradition and comedic genius courtesy of Robin Williams.
Continue reading “Remembering A Friend”
August 9, 2014
The veterans of 2014 Alpha Class are completing their six month fellowships this week. Let’s take a look at who they are by the numbers.
Continue reading “Alpha Class Fellows: By The Numbers”
August 8, 2014
We invite alumni of The Mission Continues Fellowship Program to speak at each pre-fellowship orientation. Fellow Alumna Brandy Baxter addressed the newest class of Mission Continues Fellows at their orientation in May of 2014.
“My Mission Continues Fellowship partnered me with a non-profit organization that teaches financial education to families with limited financial resources. I had started teaching financial classes at our last duty station, so this was a perfect match for me.
Continue reading “Meet Fellow Brandy Baxter”
August 6, 2014
This is Part III in a series on the legacy of the Purple Heart. The medal, originally called the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington on August 7, 1782. The date is now recognized annually as National Purple Heart Day.
3: The number of medals presented by General George Washington as the Badge of Military Merit, the forebear of the Purple Heart. They were the only three ever awarded.
Continue reading “The Purple Heart: By The Numbers”
August 5, 2014
This is Part II in a series on the legacy of the Purple Heart. The medal, originally called the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington on August 7, 1782. The date is now recognized annually as National Purple Heart Day.
The Purple Heart has spent more than half of its 232-year history in relative obscurity. Following General Washington’s establishment of the medal in 1782, the medal would be not be issued again for another 150 years. The medal was revived after World War I at the behest of General Douglas MacArthur, and officially established as the Purple Heart following an Executive Order from President Herbert Hoover. The date chosen to issue the Executive Order was February 22nd, George Washington’s 200th birthday.
Continue reading “Extraordinary Fidelity”
August 4, 2014
“The General…directs that whenever any singularly meritorious actions is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth.”
– General George Washington introducing the “Badge of Military Merit” on August 7, 1782
By the summer of 1782, the war of independence was in its final evolutions. The House of Commons had voted to end Britain’s participation in the conflict that spring. The Great Seal of the United States was agreed upon by the new Congress in June, and the Bald Eagle was adopted as the national bird. The people’s attention was finally turning from war to building a new nation.
Aware that the conflict was nearing its end, Gen. Washington sought to create a medal recognizing “not only instances of unusual gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service” to the new nation. From his headquarters in Newburgh, New York, he introduced the Badge of Military Merit, the forebear of today’s Purple Heart.
Awarded to only three soldiers in its original incarnation, more than one million service men and women have since been recipients of the Purple Heart. More than 57,000 men and women have received the Purple Heart as a result of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many veterans groups and civic institutions now recognize August 7th each year as “Purple Heart Day.” As the nation’s attention presently shifts more and more from the conflicts of the past decade, it is equally imperative that we recognize the most recent instances of unusual gallantry, extraordinary fidelity and essential service of our veterans.
Join us this week in recognizing the men and women who have earned our nation’s oldest military decoration.
Photo source: U.S. Army
August 3, 2014
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles
August 2, 2014
“I know the kids are going to go crazy on Monday, the ones that are here are already smiling, that somebody says there are people who love you…It makes them feel good. We feel like that just because you’re in the inner center doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the best.”
The veterans of 1st Platoon Los Angeles recently deployed to Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. The center provides a safe and nurturing environment where boys and girls ages 8 to 18 can participate in academic enrichment programs and recreational activities exploring a world of opportunities.
Every day, our team is privileged to hear stories of service direct from the source – the cadre of Mission Continues Fellows, Service Platoon members, volunteers and supporters who have made it their missions to report for duty in their communities.
Every day, they share stories of compassion – a veteran working one-on-one with a young student and motivating them to make positive choices and pursue their education. They share stories of action – a team of veterans coming together to demo a wall, build a garden and refurbish a community center in one afternoon. They share stories of innovation – an 11-year old who wanted to make a difference, so he raised enough money to fund a fellowship by knocking out more than 600 push-ups in an hour in exchange for donations.
Our goal is to put our action into words. You can expect to hear from veterans across the country and from all walks of life. We’ll examine what it means to be a post-9/11 veteran and how service can play an active role in a service member’s transition home. We’ll open up the discussion to hear from community members, corporations and foundations. We’ll ask you to participate along the way too. So, join us in this year of storytelling, and help us change the national conversation about veterans so that this generation leaves a legacy of service and success.