Miami 1st Platoon: Hurricane Irma Meets its Match

October 5, 2017
By David Riera, Platoon Member & 2016 Fellow

Volunteers from The Mission Continues in Florida after Hurricane IrmaVolunteers from The Mission Continues in Florida after Hurricane Irma

Irma took three days to show up at my door in Miami. As a member of the Miami 1st Platoon, we responded in the same way the team in Houston did to Hurricane Harvey. The feeling was intense to say the least, but very focused and organized. I felt a surging calmness as I prepared for the worst.

Over three days our team purchased supplies using our own resources, and executed the lockdown of nearly 25 homes (not counting our own). This included everything from hanging steel window shutters, bolting down plywood sheets, and slamming down sandbags.

“While there is no way to measure the number of lives saved by these actions, it is safe to say lives have been saved” said the Miami 1st Platoon Leader, Derek Auguste.   Continue reading “Miami 1st Platoon: Hurricane Irma Meets its Match”

An Update On Our Response to Hurricane Irma

September 28, 2017

After Hurricane Irma struck the southeast, many communities rallied together to help each other.

Our platoons in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville were no exception. They stepped up to help neighbors and community members recover from Hurricane Irma.

In Miami, the platoon mobilized to help the elderly, fellow platoon members, and veterans in the area with cutting downed trees in yards and debris removal. The Platoon is used online group chats and Facebook group to spread the word that members were looking to help out. Our City Impact Manager, Mateo and PLs in Miami and Broward got in contact with United Way – Mission United, Neighbors for Neighbors, Wounded Warrior Project, Team Rubicon, and the Red Cross to assist with additional recovery efforts. Continue reading “An Update On Our Response to Hurricane Irma”

I Became a Gladiator for the Environment

June 5, 2017
By David Riera, Fellow

Capitol Hill is like a Roman Colosseum, complete with all the ornate statues, marble surfaces and fountains. Both attract the affluent and impoverished alike, the streets filled with merchants, guards, and citizens waiting to attend the “games.” Who would have ever thought I would find myself participating in these great political games?

I traveled to Washington D.C. with the National Parks Conservation Association to ask Congress to protect our public lands. I visited their home office, a two floor hub filled with everything an environmentalist and champion for the parks could ever hope to have in order to prepare for the lengthy battles ahead. Continue reading “I Became a Gladiator for the Environment”

Opening My Parachute and Landing on Solid Ground

December 1, 2016
By Derek Auguste, Fellow Alum

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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.

By 2015 however, I realized that what my daughter needed most was my presence in her life. Of my eleven years of service, I had been away from home for nearly half of it, so I made the decision to hang up my uniform and return home to Miami.

Continue reading “Opening My Parachute and Landing on Solid Ground”

Finding a New Mission in Miami

April 17, 2015

Carla Alvarado_12

Carla Alvarado is an Army veteran and Mission Continues Fellow Alumna. She served her fellowship with Miami-based Veterans Oceans Adventures (VOA), a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for veterans to experience the healing power of water through sailing, scuba diving and kayaking.

I moved to Miami shortly after my tour in Afghanistan and separating from the Army. I reconnected with friends who were associated with VOA and was invited to volunteer. Once there, I soon learned about The Mission Continues and decided to apply for a fellowship. This has proven to be the best opportunity I have ever been a part of. I felt passionate about the mission and was truly humbled by my experiences and the opportunity to rehabilitate former service members.

Continue reading “Finding a New Mission in Miami”