The Fellowship That Gave Me a Roadmap After the Military

March 24, 2017
Gabriel Ramos, Fellow Alum

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Gabriel Ramos at the Alpha 2016 Orientation service project.

I often dreamt of becoming a real life superhero.

Although the persona I’d originally envisioned for myself evolved and took different forms – be it a masked vigilante, a gallant cowboy, a fearless detective – my vision was unwavering: I wanted to save the world.

I finally settled on my hero of choice upon watching the opening credits to A Few Good Men when I was nine years old. One glimpse of the Marine Corps’ dress blues was all I needed to know that it was the uniform I was destined to wear.

Whatever reservations I might have had would be erased during the fall of my junior year of high school in 2001. I enlisted at the age of 17, and a year later I realized my dream of becoming part of the best my country had to offer. Continue reading “The Fellowship That Gave Me a Roadmap After the Military”

Teaming Two Unlikely Pairs in Orlando

March 17, 2017
By Melissa Geiwitz, Community Partner

The Mission Continues recently asked Home Builders Institute (HBI), “How are we doing?”

Immediately, we reminisced about the unique and special relationship The Mission Continues has helped forge between our Central Florida veterans and youth. In an effort to bring positive role models into the lives of juvenile justice-involved youth, a program called Project Bridge has teamed the two unlikely pairs, and it has led to meaningful and impactful work for so many.

Since September 2015, HBI and Eckerd Kids Project Bridge have partnered with The Mission Continues Orlando 1st Service Platoon. With this innovative partnership, veterans can continue serving at home while solving specific challenges in their communities.

In Orlando, the mission of the local platoon is working with Project Bridge youth who are at risk of failing in major tasks necessary to assure a productive life. Continue reading “Teaming Two Unlikely Pairs in Orlando”

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”

Learning and Growing at the Platoon Leader Summit

November 10, 2016

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This past week Platoon Leaders and Team Leaders gathered in Philadelphia for our annual Platoon Leader Summit. Over the weekend they learned skills from experts and each other that will help them create kickass service events, build relationships in their communities, and cultivate a thriving platoon.

Our Platoon Leaders are dedicated to making meaningful and sustainable impact in the communities they serve. They all have different leadership styles and different perspectives they bring to the table, and each person has something to help their peers learn and grow. Continue reading “Learning and Growing at the Platoon Leader Summit”

Inspiring Service through Art

July 27, 2016
By Doug Aldrich, Artist

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As an artist supporting The Mission Continues Service Learning Project series with Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School in Harlem, I learned as much about service from the students as much as they’ve learned from me. I volunteered and led three classes of 6th grade students to create a mural through their own visual and literary submissions.  Continue reading “Inspiring Service through Art”

Blazing Trails in Our National Parks

June 8, 2016

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Our nation’s national parks were originally protected by the military, and for the past few months, The Mission Continues New York 3rd Platoon has continued to do just that. The platoon has sustained involvement with the largest national park in New York, Gateway National Recreation Area, which is home to both wildlife and historic forts.

Together, they have protected New York Harbor for over 200 years. Today, they remain among the oldest military installations in the country. To preserve this rich history, platoon members have worked over the past few months to rehabilitate a nature and history trail within the park. This trail, which has not been open to the public for decades, can now be used in educational tours that are the backbone of interpretation at the park. As the summer tourist season is about to begin, the opening of this trail could not have come at a better time.

Continue reading “Blazing Trails in Our National Parks”

Pantry 84

May 5, 2016
By Eric Weiss, Platoon Leader

It was Cinco De Mayo, my first platoon social event. I had just taken on the role of Platoon Leader, creating the 2nd platoon in Orlando FL, and was trying to figure out how it could best help the community.

As it turned out, we had bought too much food for everyone to eat that night. Throwing out the food would be a complete waste — all leftover food could easily feed 30 people!  After a few internet searches we found a women’s shelter in the Orlando downtown area that accepted food donations. So I packed up the food and took it to the shelter.

Continue reading “Pantry 84”