Connecting Across Generations: Learning from Pre-9/11 Veterans

January 22, 2017
By Mike Plue, San Diego 2nd Platoon


On the blog we’ve discussed the identity and experiences of post-9/11 veterans a lot. But we also want to hear from pre-9/11 veterans with their wealth of experience and dedication to service. The two generations share more in common than meets the eye. We interviewed Mike Plue, a stalwart member of the San Diego 2nd Service Platoon, to talk about his perspective and experience as a pre-9/11 veteran.

Over the years he has collected these inspiring takeaways:

The veteran bond transcends generation

Throughout my civilian career I have come into contact with veterans, and regardless of branch or era, I have felt an immediate bond and higher level of trust. (I even was hired by my current employer based upon the referral of a veteran that I met over 10 years before.)

But what really solidified this lesson for me was when I had the honor of visiting the VA hospital in San Diego delivering care packages. I spoke with veterans who had their careers in the military and some who had only served for a few years. All who I spoke with had worked to establish successful civilian careers, and had raised families after coming home. At the end of the day, all agreed that the military was the greatest time in their life, and that enlisting was the best decision they could have made.

I’ve realized whether you are a pre-9/11 or post-9/11 veteran, there is always the common calling to get involved with something “bigger than yourself.” With time comes perspective, and like the veterans I visited at the VA, you realize the calling to serve whether it be to pick up a rifle or a paint brush. Even after we leave active duty, we are a band of brothers and sisters, and we are here to make the world a better place.

Tips for Finding a Host Site

January 20, 2017


Our Fellowship Admissions team is dedicated and talented, and wants to see each Fellow succeed. They spend hours speaking with prospective Fellows to help them through the admissions process. That’s what they’re here for, after all! If you’ve had the pleasure of speaking with them, you know that they genuinely care about each person.

We have noticed trends in the challenges people face when applying. We decided to look at the most common issues, and directly address them in a blog post. These aren’t top secret tips the Admissions team is hiding from you — no, quite the opposite. These are pieces of advice they find themselves coming back to time and time again, because they are tried and true. It can be hard, but you can achieve it. Following these four essential pieces of advice will help give yourself the best chance at being accepted as a Fellow.

MLK Day: Following His Path of Service

January 17, 2016


Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to making America more equal and free. His words inspired many to join the Civil Rights Movement, and still inspire us today. At The Mission Continues, this legacy moves us to continue strengthening communities through service. “The main pillars of Dr. King Jr.’s mission and legacy — peace, justice, equality, freedom — are some that certainly resonate with others who have

TEDx Talk: Bringing Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom

December 29, 2016

Mary Beth Bruggeman, our Executive Director for the Southeast Region, was invited to give a TEDx Talk at Georgetown University. She made a strong case explaining why it is important to bring your authentic self to work, and gave suggestions on how companies can encourage a more open culture that values a diverse workforce. In tandem, she published an article in the Huffington Post entitled, Embracing Diversity, on the Battlefield and

We’re Ready To ‘Charlie Mike’ In 2017

December 27, 2017
By Spencer Kympton

Charlie Mike
‘verb’ – A shorthand directive used in the U.S. Military for “Continue the Mission.”

Thousands did it in 2016.

From the Pacific Northwest to Joplin, Missouri to South Florida, men and women who served our country in the military reported for duty again – in their hometowns. They answered our call to “Charlie Mike”…and our neighborhoods are stronger because they did.

They did it in many ways. Over 300 of them reported for duty as Mission Continues Fellows – committing six months of volunteer service at organizations like the National Parks Conservation Association, Hands On Atlanta, and the YWCA of San Antonio.

Our Most Memorable Projects of 2016

December 21, 2016

As we gathered as an organization and in our teams to discuss our goals for the upcoming year, we also thought it important to take stock of moments in 2016 where we felt like we totally rocked it, so that we may continue to learn and grow. To that end, each member of the Regional Resource team, our amazing project planners, took some time to look back on 2016 and pick out one project that really

Simple Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your MOU

February 17, 2017


We get it. After a lengthy application process, scrambling to find a host site and scraping together a coherent MOU, the last thing you want to do is sweat the small stuff. But today we are here to tell you that simple mistakes don’t go unnoticed.

The fellowship is all about dedication, effort, and putting in that extra 110%, right? So why would we expect anything other than that in your MOU? The MOU is a short but important document that is supposed to represent your best work. We know you have it in you, and that you’re here to rock it. So here’s a short list of common mistakes we see so that you can easily avoid them.

Veterans Stand for Standing Rock: “We Will Never Stop Protecting”

December 16, 2016

You’d be wrong if you thought the story of the protest at Standing Rock in North Dakota simply ended with its victory. The story continues, with plans for the future, and with reflection on what this experience meant to those who participated. As a veteran service organization, we discuss veterans in their unity and diversity, and the many facets of what it means to be a veteran in today’s world. The movement at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation was large, complex, and is far from over. While many civilians felt it was their civic duty to stand for their beliefs, this movement struck a chord for many veterans as well. But, some might be wondering: why?

Three Encouragements For The New Administration

December 1, 2016

transitionmeetingSpencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues and seated at far right, joins other veteran leaders on December 1, 2016, in Washington, DC.

Since our founding, we have always been a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing together veterans and innovative organizations to create transformational change for communities in need all across the country. The past nine years of service have inspired countless opportunities to learn and grow as a nonprofit uniquely focused on empowering veterans. In that spirit, we joined nearly 30 organizations serving our veterans and military families this morning to share our experience at the first outside meeting with members of the Presidential Transition Office focused on veteran support.

Opening My Parachute and Landing on Solid Ground

December 1, 2016
By Derek Auguste, Fellow Alum


I joined the U.S. Army so that I could gain valuable skills and give my newborn daughter a better life. After enlisting, I soon discovered an incredible sense of purpose and realized I wanted to stay as long as I could. Mentoring young soldiers and seeing them grow brought me great pride. I still remember the days when I trained my soldiers how to parachute out of airplanes — how to make the jump, despite their fears, and trust their parachute would open.