The DC Service Platoons banded together on Friday, September 11, 2015 for a day of service at Democracy Prep, a high impact charter school in Southeast DC. With the help of Democracy Prep students, parents and local police officers, volunteers revitalized a learning garden, painted the school crest and helped renovate the school’s exterior.
Fourteen years have come and gone since September 11, 2001, and for many the memory of that day will forever be defined by the sights and sounds of Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But in reflecting on the day, we also remember what has come after: sacrifice and continued service.
Five million Americans have served since fall of 2001. Each of their lives were transformed in countless ways by military action worldwide.
In continuing that call to action, our service platoons gathered in New York, Washington, DC, Dallas, Seattle and ten other cities to take part of the National Day of Service.
In New York, our local service platoons formed up within view of One World Trade Center to help restore areas of Ft. Wadsworth, a vital piece of U.S. military history, for a two-day project.
In collaboration with the National Park Service and a crew from Team Rubicon, our veteran volunteers removed more than 15 tons of debris and restored a camping area, which will make the historical site more welcoming for visitors in the months and years to come.
At our DC project, more than 80 volunteers, including motivated Wounded Warrior Project Alums and staff, gathered at a charter school and revitalized a learning garden for kids, painted a school crest and helped renovate the school exterior.
Kids and volunteers from Washington, DC service platoons gather to paint. Photo credit: GREG CALLAN,DEMOCRACY PREP PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Washington, DC platoon members restore the school’s exterior, September 11, 2015. GREG CALLAN, DEMOCRACY PREP PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Volunteers carry wood at Democracy Prep in Washington, DC, September 11, 2015. Photo credit: GREG CALLAN, DEMOCRACY PREP PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The anniversary was significant, and in more ways than some might think. As the projects continued, veterans reflected on how the work they were doing was going to impact tomorrow, not so much about the wars and military experience behind them. A new generation is waiting to take the reins, and the work of our platoons ensures they will know what it means to serve.
DC 2nd Service Platoon reported for duty over the weekend at Operation Anacostia. The mission was to help clean Anocostia Park by picking up litter and installing new trash receptacles. The platoon was joined by volunteers from So What Else? and the National Park Service. DC area veterans, family members and supporters will be back in action on August 22nd when DC 1st Service Platoon deploys to Congress Park to construct a new butterfly garden and planter park bench.
Vu Nguyen is an alumnus of The Mission Continues Fellowship Program and was selected to lead the first ever Washington, D.C. Service Platoon. After one year as a Platoon Leader, Vu reflects on how it all started.