December 8, 2017
Anthony Fedele, Platoon Leader
Before I became a platoon leader, I was unsure of where I was headed. I was lost, floating in the sea of confusion, misdirection, and distraction.
I was first introduced to The Mission Continues through their Mass Deployment program. That intense week of service made me feel as though someone had pulled me up onto the ship, gave me an oxygen mask, and patted me on the bum saying, “Go this way…”
I felt alive again.
After Mass Deployment I decided to travel to visit service platoons in the Northeast. I was in awe of the platoon leaders’ selflessness, community-driven motivation, and commitment to service. These were individuals who showed me what the word “leader” really meant.
This inspired me to become a platoon leader too, and to grow into the shoes of my predecessors.
Being a platoon leader has given me the opportunity to do just that — bring veterans and civilians together. Together we have contributed almost 1,600 volunteer hours in Philadelphia this past year.
Platoon leaders have the ability to bring people together for a common cause. To benefit both our veteran brothers and sisters and the communities in which we belong to that have been desperately waiting for leaders like us to show up. We know deep down inside our actions have had a real impact on our community.
I have seen our youth volunteers grow throughout the year. They started out having no idea what tool names were, and now they are able to build planters, benches, dugouts, and sometimes even share their newfound knowledge with adults.
But the most impactful experience for me is being able to watch veterans transform through this process too. Being able to see that light reignited in their eyes as they work with the youth, teaching and coaching them throughout the day.
I can see that hole inside them start to close up just a little bit.
People often ask me why I do the things that I do here in Philadelphia. Here is my answer: I have been fortunate enough to find a new direction to follow and as I continue down this path, it is on me to be the one who turns around and reaches back into the darkness to the next individual who is looking for that guidance.
Our Mission Continues.
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.