A 40 Year Journey for Unity in My Childhood Community

February 27, 2018
By Derrick Clark, Platoon Leadership Team Member

As a child growing up in the inner city of Pittsburgh, I was always made aware of the importance of Black History Month. So when February came around, we students knew there was going to be some cool classroom projects, autobiographies, and pictures surrounding the classroom that month for us to learn more about African American culture and Black History.

We learned about Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, and a host of other well-known African American leaders. Some of us would even get to dress up and reenact their life stories in plays, skits and musicals.


Although it is not blatantly obvious, the undertones of segregation and racial discrimination are prevalent throughout Pittsburgh. To get a glimpse of how separated Pittsburgh can be, one would only have to step one foot into my childhood community, Homewood.

Homewood is a predominately African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh. When I was a young boy in Homewood, the neighborhood was fun and recreational – there were plenty of activities for children to do around the neighborhood – a skating rink, sports programs, and the like. But the effects of poverty, low-income housing, underemployment, and the drug crisis of the 90’s have since crippled the community.

Pittsburgh has invested millions of dollars into infrastructure and community development, but Homewood was left out of the redeveloping plan. The community still provides programs for youth, but they are not well supported anymore — they have less funding, less manpower, and fewer resources.

Crime is still prevalent in the area and many children and residents have little to no one to look up to. A lot of its residents share the sentiment that no one outside Homewood cares about them.

The struggles of the community and its children resonate with me on a personal level. Like many children in the community today, I grew up with no father in the home. I had a single mother who was addicted to drugs, and it seemed at times that no one cared about the harsh realities of poverty-stricken families in less affluent, drug polluted, communities.

All we had was each other, and with the community being almost completely African American, it seemed as if the outside world simply did not want to deal with the issues in Homewood.

And yet, in the face of this adversity Homewood has always been a proud community.

February 27th, 2018|All, Editor's Picks, Mass Deployment, Service Platoons|

Alpha Class of 2018 Helps Preserve Miami Park Post-Irma

January 29, 2018

Alpha Class 2018 begins their continued service with The Mission Continues in Miami, FL

The Miami 1st Service Platoon welcomed over 100 new fellows and platoon leaders with open arms on Friday, January 26th. The purpose? To convene for a weekend of learning, connecting, and preparing for their new mission.

To show these newcomers what we’re made of, the weekend kicked off on Saturday with a Mission Continues must-have: a service project.


New Fellows Get Five Pieces of Advice

Veteran Derek Auguste spoke to the incoming class of fellows, leaving them with five pieces of advice as they begin their journey. Listen to his full speech below.

January 29th, 2018|All, Fellowships, Service Platoons|

See How We Put MLK’s #LegacyofService in Action

January 24, 2018

The Mission Continues MLK Day of Service

Putting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service into action this past weekend, volunteers with The Mission Continues accomplished large-scale service projects in local communities. In 34 service events across the country we drew 1,902 volunteers, totaling 9,332 hours of service — and captured the event in this Impact Report.

The Mission Continues’ platoon operations are our way of bringing about the unity Dr. King envisioned for the country. The National Day of Service in his honor was our opportunity to reiterate our commitment to diverse and underserved communities, and to show our fellow citizens the power of veterans as unifiers as they tackle community challenges.

If we collectively broaden our outlook and use our diversity as a resource to implement change, then together, city by city, block by block, veteran by veteran, we can come together and create a better tomorrow.

While our service projects took place in dozens of cities, eight of them in particular stood out to embody Dr.King’s values: Equality, Faith, Nonviolence, Education, Love, Leadership, Selflessness, and Hope.

January 19th, 2018|All, National Days of Service, Service Platoons|

Our Values in Action: Living up to Dr. King’s #LegacyofService

January 5, 2018

During the weekend of MLK Day, we’re activating our veterans and civilian allies to bring Dr. King’s core values to life. This is your chance to translate shared values into positive action and make a difference!

The aim of these #LegacyofService projects is to get folks of all backgrounds, civilians and veteran alike, to come together to continue what Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement did for our country: make it a better, stronger, more equal place.

January 5th, 2018|All, National Days of Service, Service Platoons|

How a Veteran and His Family Transitioned Together

January 3, 2018
By Derek Auguste, Platoon Leader

Derek Auguste's wife and son volunteering at a service project with The Mission Continues

I feel this is a topic that doesn’t get enough attention.

After you transition out of the military and into civilian life, you might be coming back to a family that’s been living without you for a while. It’s not just you that’s “transitioning” — it’s your family too. That transition is tough. It was for me. It was for my wife and kids.


Feeling Like an Outsider

I taught my children that celebrating birthdays and holidays were not as important as the time we had together overall. This philosophy was meant to protect them from being disappointed if I was unable to be home for such special occasions. I thought I was protecting them. But really, I was protecting myself from feeling guilty.

January 3rd, 2018|All, Service Platoons|

How I Was Inspired to Become a Platoon Leader

December 8, 2017
Anthony Fedele, Platoon Leader

Anthony Fedele volunteering with The Mission Continues

Before I became a platoon leader, I was unsure of where I was headed. I was lost, floating in the sea of confusion, misdirection, and distraction.

I was first introduced to The Mission Continues through their Mass Deployment program. That intense week of service made me feel as though someone had pulled me up onto the ship,

December 8th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|

Veterans Day at a Glance

December 1, 2017

Report for duty in your community with The Mission Continues. Serve with a Service Platoon at an upcoming service event near you or apply for a fellowship. You can learn more about our programs on our website and stay updated on the latest news and announcements on Facebook and Twitter.

December 2nd, 2017|All, National Days of Service, Service Platoons|

“When I look at the youth in Boyle Heights, I see myself”

November 30, 2017
Majken Geiman, Former Platoon Leader

For a long time I let the fear of disappointment hold me back. Life in Chicago’s south side as the eldest child of a single mother was what you’d imagine. I attended a large public high school, spent hours every day commuting on the bus and subway, failed multiple classes, pawned 35 cents off my friends daily so that I could buy reduced-price lunches,

November 30th, 2017|All, Editor's Picks, Service Platoons|

My Opportunity to Serve, Lead and Learn

November 25, 2017
Brayden Yoder, Platoon Leader

As every Army officer knows, the best job you’ll ever have is Platoon Leader.

No matter how far up the ranks you travel, no command or staff position would ever rival what it was to be a young lieutenant with soldiers not much younger than yourself – and with NCOs who are older, wiser, and tougher.

If you have ears to

November 25th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|

The Tampa Ten Join Operation Everglades City

November 18, 2017

During the weekend of October 27th-29th, a group of 30 veterans and civilians converged on Everglades City, FL, a small fishing community of roughly 400 residents. With a quarter of the community’s homes destroyed and deeply damaged by Hurricane Irma, our volunteers arrived with donations, tools and an unwavering spirit of service.

For the past two months, Floridians have faced the adversity of preparing for and recovering from the destruction that Hurricane Irma left in its wake. Measuring 650 miles wide and with storm force winds eclipsing 185 miles per hour, Irma was the strongest recorded storm in the history of the Atlantic.

With millions of residents without power and shelter, and thousands more with homes damaged and destroyed, the veteran leaders of The Mission Continues showed us once again why they are our country’s heroes.

Recognizing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, veteran leaders and volunteers from our Service Platoons in Miami, Broward, Orlando and Tampa decided to join forces and pool resources to maximize their community impact in a community that is outside their normal purview.

November 18th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|