It’s a Seattle Block Party! Veterans Support Immigrant and Refugee Communities

August 24, 2018

 Volunteers celebrating the day’s accomplishments.

On Saturday, August 11th, 2018, more than 100 veterans, community members and partner volunteers reported for duty in Seattle’s International District for the 2018 Seattle Service Block Party. For this day of service, volunteers focused on driving local impact on behalf of immigrant and refugee communities in the heart of Seattle’s International District.

With support from Starbucks, The Mission Continues volunteers collaborated with The Danny Woo Community Garden and InterIm CDA to help beautify the neighborhood. This synergy was riding on the initial momentum garnered by the Schultz Family Foundation, who gave initial support for the Service Platoon Program’s spread to Seattle.

Continue reading “It’s a Seattle Block Party! Veterans Support Immigrant and Refugee Communities”

Seattle 1st Platoon, Supporting the Building of Strong Communities

May 10, 2018

Seattle 1st Service Platoon, The Mission Continues

“I remember when I was in Afghanistan and Iraq, I used to hope that those who wanted to leave and find better lives would find them,” said City Impact Manager Doug Pfeffer, an Army veteran.

Once he came back to the United States, Doug dedicated his career to helping veterans. But joining The Mission Continues has expanded his mission to more than that — he works with service-minded veterans to make a difference in the lives of others too.

As a City Impact Manager, Doug leads multi-year operations empowering veterans to build stronger communities. Through Operation Back to the Beach, Seattle 1st Service Platoon helps under-resourced neighborhoods and supports a number of nonprofit organizations looking to do good. One such place is the Ethiopian Community in Seattle (ECS), which serves refugees and immigrants of Ethiopia and various African descents.

“It has day camps for kids, adult meetings, community activities and is a beacon of hope in an otherwise difficult part of the south side of Seattle.” Doug reflects, “At the ECS, I see the hope I had for potential refugees come full circle. This is why I served — to help those less fortunate than me.” Continue reading “Seattle 1st Platoon, Supporting the Building of Strong Communities”

Veterans and Refugees Build Together in Pittsburgh

October 25, 2017
By Stephanie Grimes, City Impact Manager

The Pittsburgh 3rd Service Platoon is a new group of volunteers that are ready to mobilize Pittsburgh’s veteran population–asking them to help refugees living in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. After months of recruiting, planning and collaboration, the newly-born platoon kicked off with their first service project last Saturday.

I launched the platoon this summer for a more specific reason than that: While Pittsburgh has two service platoons dedicated to the underserved neighborhoods of Hazelwood and Homewood, Pittsburgh has seen an increase in their foreign-born population, many of them refugees. Continue reading “Veterans and Refugees Build Together in Pittsburgh”

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. Continue reading “In New York, Veterans Serve at Ellis Island”

This Is for the Immigrant Veterans Who Inspired My Fellowship

August 29th, 2017
By Jin Kong, Fellow


My name is Jin Kong. I am a husband and a father, an immigrant and a veteran. I am not a rarity, but one of many immigrant stories from my military days.

One friend told me he walked across the Mexico/US border with his mother at a very young age. He was deported then and later came back to the US legally. Another medic was a Southeast-Asian Buddhist who converted to Mormonism and married before our deployment. One of our infantry brothers immigrated from Argentina. He took an injury to one eye in the war while serving as a sniper. He later became a photographer and traversed Iraq while the war was still on, armed only with a camera and a local guide. Continue reading “This Is for the Immigrant Veterans Who Inspired My Fellowship”