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.

Volunteering with The Mission Continues has exposed me to people that come from all walks of life and has given me a unique opportunity to gain fresh perspective on the passionate commitments that both inspire us and tear us apart.

Suddenly we are not Democrat or Republican, young or old, veteran or civilian. We are one; we are united through service.

These experiences have helped to diminish my fear of the unknown

U.S. Navy veteran Lauren DelRicci volunteering at a Mission Continues service project in Pittsburgh.

From the moment I arrived at the Charlie Class of 2017 Orientation, where I met my veteran brothers and sisters from across the country, to the World War II veterans that I’ve had the privilege to connect with while serving with my host organization the Veterans Breakfast Club, I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow from new and different experiences.

These experiences have helped to diminish my fear of the unknown while opening my eyes to sacrifices the more senior veterans have made to support our freedom as Americans.

Additionally, as I continue to volunteer with the Service Platoon Program in where I live in Pittsburgh, I’ve had a chance to meet my neighbors and serve alongside them, allowing myself to listen to their stories and to share my own.

I smile when I notice onlookers watching us in our blue shirts, fixing up an old house, hosting outreach events, or restoring a child’s playground.

They witness diverse people working as a group, completing tasks no one could do alone. They see ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary tasks. At the most basic level, they see people doing selfless acts, giving their time and energy, the most precious of commodities.

This concept of unity through service is not a revelation. However, I feel we must affirm this crucial truth more forcefully than our other strong beliefs if we are to overcome our differences.

In the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lt. Col Jimmy Doolittle famously said, “There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” As volunteers of The Mission Continues, we experience this phenomenon of dedication.

We come together to serve our communities across the nation, shining as beacons of hope for those who may be searching for light.

 

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.