In New York, Veterans Serve at Ellis Island

September 14, 2017

Veterans with The Mission Continues serving at Ellis Island in honor of 9/11

People say that in the days that followed, an overwhelming sense of appreciation and love emanated throughout New York. Last Saturday, for the 16th anniversary of 9/11, we brought that feeling to Ellis Island, where we helped preserve a piece of our nation’s history for future generations.

Ellis Island teaches many of us about our heritage — how many of our ancestors came to this country, and what they overcame to make a better life for themselves and their children. For many, it is an enduring symbol of the American Dream and acceptance.

For us, it’s a way of connecting with past and future generations of immigrants who have helped build the country we fought to defend.

September 14th, 2017|National Days of Service, Service Platoons|

What are you doing to honor 9/11? I know my answer.

September 8, 2017

Civilians and veterans gather to volunteer in their community

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 affected all of us in one way or another. For some, it meant deployment. For others, it meant the loss of a loved one and a charred city. And for all Americans, it meant a shaken country and the dawn of a new era.

“I remember the day well, as most Americans do,” says Melissa Shipley, a longtime volunteer with The Mission Continues. “I remember turning on the television and being in complete shock. I felt so many different emotions–anger, fear, sadness.”

But it wasn’t until she started getting involved with veteran service organizations like The Mission Continues that she met veterans who had actually deployed because of it.

Eric Leverone is one such veteran who enlisted in the United States Army to protect his country right after 9/11. “Up until that point, I had never even thought about joining the military,” he said.

September 9th, 2017|All, Editor's Picks, National Days of Service, Service Platoons|

#HoustonStrong: Rebuilding After Hurricane Harvey

September 7, 2017
Barry Mattson, Central Region Executive Director

It has been heartening to see our Mission Continues family rally together to help us in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. As we have worked with Houston communities for years, it is saddening to see the damage done. While our platoon members and staff are focused locally with neighbor-helping-neighbor efforts as well as working with their operational partners right now, we are planning our long-term recovery efforts too.

I know there are no quick fixes for all that Houston has endured. We weathered this storm and we are committed to rebuilding our communities. We are adjusting the objectives of all five of our Houston operations to include long-term, ongoing recovery operations. This is what Mission Continues is all about — we’re in it for the long haul.

To help us with this commitment, many generous Houstonians and friends from across the country have stepped up as we’re getting closer to reaching our Hurricane Harvey response fundraising goal to help our veterans continue to report for duty in our Houston communities.

September 8th, 2017|All, Service Platoons, Staff Perspectives|

Our Biggest 9/11 Projects Across the Country

September 5, 2017

9/11 Remembrance Day is fast approaching. What are you going to do to honor those who perished, those who fought, and those who continue on today? If you’re not sure, I’ve got a proposal for you. Whether you are a civilian or a veteran, volunteer for one day  with veterans who are on a new mission to volunteer in their communities.

This is YOUR chance to join a highly skilled group of volunteers in your city to make a lasting impact.

Check out our largest projects across the country!

September 5th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|

Make Your Plans for the 9/11 National Day of Service

August 25, 2017

We all want to give back for important days of service like 9/11 and MLK Day, but few of us actually make it out day-of. Now is the perfect time to mark your calendar for the next big day of service, so when someone asks, what are you doing to honor 9/11? you can say: I’m going to serve.

The Mission Continues empowers veterans to make a difference, whether that’s building play spaces for youth, clearing trails in our national parks, or constructing houses for the homeless.

Veterans and their friends are out volunteering in their communities year-round through our Service Platoon Program, where a group of volunteers tackle a pressing issue in their city.

August 25th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|

Project Phoenix Rising: Rebuilding Orlando after Hurricane Matthew

August 17th, 2017
By Robert Withers, Platoon Member

“This community may be ‘at risk’ — but the children are not.. they’re just good kids,” said Anna Dieuveuil, Service Director at the Taft Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, while volunteers from The Mission Continues Orlando 1st Platoon listened intently.

August 17th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|

Catching the Rain: Local Veterans Protect Hawaii’s Water

August 4, 2017

A delicate breeze. A glistening ocean. A beaming sun.

To most Americans, this is our picture of Hawaii. What we don’t picture is all the effort by its residents to keep the islands as beautiful as we imagine they are. But as inhabitants and stewards, it is clear to local Hawaiians that a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle is the best for the islands and future generations of residents.

Christina Finley, Platoon Leader for the Honolulu 1st Service Platoon is on a mission to protect Hawaii’s water. Luckily, she’s not alone — other organizations like Plastic Free Hawaii, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, and Clean Water Hawaii all share the same vision. Meeting with them, as she said, inspired her “to help with all that they do to protect the waters of Hawaii. My vision is to lend a helping hand with these projects and assist in the solution of these problems.”

August 4th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|

Charlie Class 2017: Kicking Off A New Path of Service with Sports for Youth

July 14, 2017

Today we welcome 96 fellows and 14 platoon leaders of Charlie Class 2017 to a weekend of Orientation in Boston. We will be joining forces with the Boston 1st Platoon to help them kick off a new mission in the Dorchester area. These fellows and platoon leaders are veterans who have committed to serving their country again, this time in a different way. They have decided to use their leadership, discipline, and teamwork skills to combat homelessness, climate change, childhood poverty, and many other challenges we face here on the home front.

Our fellows will be embedding with local nonprofits in their cities for six months, while our platoon leaders will be leading groups of veterans to complete service projects to support places like nonprofits in underserved neighborhoods, national parks, urban gardens, and public schools.

The Boston 1st Service Platoon, a group of dedicated volunteers, have identified Dorchester as the best place to focus their efforts. Dorchester is Boston’s largest and most ethnically diverse neighborhood, as it is home to large Irish, Vietnamese and Cape Verdean communities. Dorchester has the second highest rate of child poverty in the Boston area, coming in at 39.2 percent, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. In addition, the Boston Police report that a few Dorchester neighborhoods are gang “hotspots.”

City Impact Manager Stephanie Grimes said that the platoon’s goal in Boston is “to expand athletic, nutrition and academic programming available to community members.” With this in mind, she found a partner in a nonprofit called All Dorchester Sports & Leadership.

July 14th, 2017|All, Fellowships, Service Platoons|

In this Turbulent Time, This Is as Grassroots as I Can Get

June 30, 2017
By Shannon Doty, Platoon Leader

When I took over the Minneapolis 1st Platoon as Platoon Leader last summer, our future was uncertain, but my vision was not.

Shortly before I took over as the Minneapolis Platoon Leader there was a police involved shooting of a man named Philando Castile, a St. Paul resident. His death became national news when his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live streamed the aftermath on Facebook, and it was watched by thousands of people within 24 hours.  His murder sparked protests throughout the Twin Cities, and finally forced many in my home to confront the very real fact that while we are progressive in many ways, Minnesota is segregated and a very difficult place for many minorities to live.

I choose to focus my anger, confusion and frustration with a system that was once again failing so many of its citizens, on positive engagement for the future.  I wanted to focus on the long term, how to be a part of the healing of the community in any way I could.  I had the privilege to be able to choose how I approached the aftermath of the death of Philando, and I never forgot that.

June 30th, 2017|All, Service Platoons|

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

June 20th, 2017|All, Editor's Picks, Service Platoons|