Why I Donated My Birthday to The Mission Continues

We just may have what you didn’t know was missing.

By Sean Tyler, volunteer

One of the biggest challenges in my life was leaving the U.S. Army after over 15 years of service as an enlisted Infantryman and a commissioned Medical Service Corps Officer.

I medically retired in December of 2013, and for lack of better words, I was not prepared. In 2012 I was diagnosed with PTSD and had significant damage to both my hip and back; I received a total hip replacement that same year. My last two years of active duty were full of surgeries, medical, and mental health appointments. The combination of these ailments led to my medical retirement.

To me at the time, being non-deployable was a death sentence for my career, and a PTSD diagnosis was a death sentence for my soul. I felt as if I was broken beyond repair and obliged to fulfill my new moniker as a “dysfunctional veteran.” I dove head first into self-loathing and alcohol abuse to numb my emptiness and despair.

Continue reading “Why I Donated My Birthday to The Mission Continues”

Celebrating the 6th Annual Sully Memorial

August 3, 2018
By Amy Sullivan, Supporter

August 11, 2018 will be the 6th Annual Sully Memorial, an annual golf tournament at Tapawingo National Golf Course, held in memory of Chief Petty Officer Sean Patrick Sullivan. The tournament gives its proceeds to veterans.

(We have player spots available and welcome donations anytime!)

I first heard about The Mission Continues through my work, as I participated in our United Way annual campaigns and attended a sponsored Veteran’s Day breakfast. I was so excited to learn that there was a local support program for my then active-duty husband, Sean.

He had always been passionate about supporting each community in which we lived. And, often coordinated volunteer events himself with his military peers. There was also the appealing prospect of staying connected with the military community post-retirement – which was just a few short years away for him.

Sean Patrick Sullivan

Unfortunately, my husband never got the chance to participate with The Mission Continues and passed away while on active-duty.

We – myself, friends and family – were eager to do something to honor his memory. We decided to host an annual golf tournament with the proceeds given to veteran support. Knowing how Sean felt about community and connection, The Mission Continues was the ideal organization with which to partner.

This year we will host our 6th Annual Sully Memorial. Friends and family have traveled to St. Louis from all over the country, and sometimes overseas, to participate in the golf tournament. We are so grateful for all of the volunteers and local sponsors and donations from the community that make the event possible.

The Annual Sully Memorial golf tournament

It is a time to remember, reflect and celebrate. There are somber moments, but there is much more laughter. Sean always said, “Live every day like it’s your last.” And we take this event to do just that. Creating memories together. Just the way he would have wanted.

Help Us Close a $10,000 Gap for Mass Deployment

June 6, 2018 
We’re coming to Los Angeles for our third annual Mass Deployment, Operation Watts Is Worth It (OWW)! Over the course of one week, The Mission Continues will deploy more than 80 military veterans from across the country to join forces and tackle tough challenges in the historic LA neighborhood of Watts.

In Watts, the median household income is $28,465, with 44% of households living below the poverty line, and 49% have no high school diploma or equivalent.

Participants will spend over five intense days of service at a variety of community sites; working alongside community partners, local youth and volunteers to create visible change.

There’s just one problem: we’re roughly $10,000 shy of our fundraising goal. Donate today to help us close our fundraising gap!

Continue reading “Help Us Close a $10,000 Gap for Mass Deployment”

Needs, Wants and Paying it Forward

November 28, 2017
By Kathy French, Mission Continues Supporter

Kathy French with The Mission Continues

I was raised a very practical person – a necessity – as we were a middle class family where purchases were thought out and used to meet needs. Wants were covered by allowance money from mowing the lawn and other chores.  

A key phrase from my childhood if I wanted something was “save your money.” Saving my money wasn’t enough to get me to my childhood dream of being an engineer to help our country tackle its infrastructure challenges.  

However, through the generosity of others via scholarships, I got to achieve my dream via graduation from the top-rated Harvey Mudd College with a general engineering degree.  My degree got me into a career of environmental engineering and emissions compliance from power plants.

In the last several years after my debts were paid off and I was able to actually establish a savings account, I took stock of the road I was headed down and realized that I had lost that discernment between needs and wants and I had to break from keeping up with the Smiths and Joneses.  

By not buying a new car just so I could say it was new or carrying a brand-name purse just to create an appearance, or upgrading my 1970’s era fully functional kitchen, I found I was able to create a bucket of disposable income that I knew, borrowing the term from the 2000 movie, I wanted to “pay it forward.”

However, I was left with the struggle of finding a hardworking, deserving person to pay it forward to. Continue reading “Needs, Wants and Paying it Forward”

USMC Captain Runs Coast to Coast for Veterans

July 20, 2017
Maggie Seymour, Grassroots Supporter

One Marine. Coast to Coast. 100 Days.

I, Maggie Seymour, a U.S. Marine Corps Captain transitioning to the Reserves, am an avid ultra-runner on a mission. On July 22, I’ll embark on a 3,300 mile journey across the United States to give back and raise awareness for the communities that have supported me during my time in the U.S. Marine Corps.

I’m a small-town Midwestern girl at heart who believes in the power of hard work, education, community, and carbs (if I stop by your town be sure to grab me a slice of pizza). Over the past 10 years I have worked closely with the veteran, gold star families, and special needs athletes communities. This run is for them. Continue reading “USMC Captain Runs Coast to Coast for Veterans”

The Allie behind the ReALLIEty Challenge

February 1, 2017
By Allie Ieyoub Davis, Grassroots Fundraiser
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Allie Ieyoub Davis is the owner of Project Fit and creator of the annual ReALLIEty Challenge in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Since 2012, participants have tackled a 3.5 mile obstacle course to raise over $26,000 for The Mission Continues. We are thrilled to share Allie’s story with you today.

My idea to create the ReALLIEty Challenge is a natural extension of my gym’s flagship program, Allie’s Bootcamp, a program I have led by former military officers. On bootcamp graduation day, we would create a mini-obstacle course that involved pushing trucks, running with buckets of water, and pulling firemen hoses. It amazed me to see the sense of pride on our recruits’ faces and to hear the excitement in their voices once they realized how much they had accomplished in six weeks. This program provided them with the tools needed to continue lifelong transformation! Continue reading “The Allie behind the ReALLIEty Challenge”

From Feeling Lost to Building Homes and Running Miles

August 23, 2016
By Peggy Schnack, Fellow

7CF7374A-761E-4DDA-84DB-7FBC8A6E98A4Peggy (right) arrives at the Charlie Class 2016 Orientation service project on July 23, 2016 in Minneapolis.

Peggy Schnack is an Air Force veteran, a 2016 Charlie Class Fellow serving with Habitat for Humanity, and will run the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) with Team Mission Continues on October 30, 2016.

As I sit here watching the Olympic Games, contemplating what The Mission Continues means to me, I realize that like the Olympics, Mission Continues brings diverse people together to achieve things that they may not have thought possible.

A year ago I did not know what I was doing or where I was headed.  I had graduated from seminary, but depression quickly took over my life.  I did not identify with being a veteran or much of anything else.  Part of my healing has come from rediscovering and reconnecting with who I am.  

While I floundered I sought connection and community, but did not know where to find it.  I needed somewhere that it was okay to be broken; where people would not pressure me to be anything I was not feeling up to at the moment but would be there for me when I needed support.  

Continue reading “From Feeling Lost to Building Homes and Running Miles”

Team Mission Continues Prepares for the Marine Corps Marathon

August 2, 2015

The Marine Corps Marathon is later this fall, but Team Mission Continues is in full preparation mode.

We had a great run (no pun intended) last year, with 37 runners, raising about $60,000 to help fund our programs.

But we’re doubling down in 2015. We have a slate of 53 motivated runners who are already halfway to last year’s mark, with a goal of hitting $100,000 before the marathon on October 25.

David Hopkins (left) and Yolande Goodman.
David Hopkins (left) and Yolande Goodman.

Our team comes from all over. David Hopkins is a longtime donor of The Mission Continues from the St. Louis area, and coming from a family with a strong military connection, he understands his support will galvanize the legacy of our newest generation of veterans.

Yolande Goodman has also been a tireless advocate and leader for veterans of the post-9/11 era. She served in the Marine Corps, helped provide resources to victims of sexual assault during her fellowship, and currently serves in the Jacksonville 1st Service Platoon.

“I want to help fund the fellowship to give another veteran the same opportunity to contribute to their community in a positive way,” she said.

It was just payday, so drop by our Marine Corps Marathon fundraising page and consider a contribution.

 

Team Mission Continues Cruises at Marine Corps Marathon

October 28, 2014
After months of training, thousands of dedicated runners laced up their shoes and took to the streets of our nation’s capital on Sunday, completing the grueling 26.2 mile course of the 39th Annual Marine Corps Marathon.

For 37 of these runners. the long journey across the finish line was about more than pushing their mind and bodies as far as they could go. It was about supporting successful transitions for our country’s returning troops by fundraising more than $49,821.47  for The Mission Continues.

Congratulations Team Mission Continues #missionaccomplished!

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Photo Credit: Marvin Cadet

 

A Band of Baseball Brothers

October 22, 2014
Bill Dolanzo

With the MLB World Series underway and Veterans Day on the horizon, there isn’t a better time than now to talk about baseball, motivation and service.

Over the last three years, I’ve had the privilege to coach a select youth baseball team called Flying Tigers. I have seen how much our country values military service. I have also seen how supporting veterans motivated a baseball team to give their best in the pursuit of something special ─ how service motivated them to play the game of baseball the way it is supposed to be played.

Team photo 2014 (1)

Continue reading “A Band of Baseball Brothers”