Gloria Was Played the Night History Was Made

By Ali McClung, TMC Staff

Thursday, June 13, I woke up, groggy and exhausted, convinced the history I witnessed the night before was a dream. I reached for my phone and quickly realized that it was not a dream, I don’t even think I could have dreamt up something as miraculous as the St. Louis Blues bringing the cup home.

As a born and raised St. Louisan I have been lucky enough to see my fair share of playoff runs and championships with the St. Louis Cardinals. Conversely, I have also felt the reoccuring heartbreak of being a Blues fan. We would make it to the playoffs but never made it past the conference finals…in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2018, we didn’t even qualify. With a track record like that, it would be easy for a city to turn their backs on their team. Not this city.

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“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

July 5, 2018
Shannon Thompson, Platoon Leadership Team

There’s this saying my father, a US Navy veteran, said to me as a child: “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” I live by this saying. It’s what motivated me to enlist in the military at the age of 17 to earn a college education, and it’s what inspired me to see what else I was capable of after completing 12 years as an airman.

It’s what inspired me to serve again with The Mission Continues.

My transition into civilian life catapulted me into a world that didn’t understand my military career. My new civilian job didn’t challenge me at all, and I didn’t have anything outside of my routine. It all felt so mundane.

I knew something was missing. I knew I could do more, be more, and offer more to others. I needed to get out of my comfort zone again and grow; The Mission Continues and volunteering gave me the opportunity to do just that. Continue reading ““A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.””

Stepping Up to the Plate: Breaking Records in Baseball

May 19, 2017

On May 26-29th, two teams of amateur baseball players, including military veterans, will gather in the St. Louis, MO area in an attempt to break the world record of the “Longest Marathon Baseball Game” ever played. The game is being held in support of The Mission Continues in order to raise awareness for veterans. We empower veterans to reintegrate into civilian life through community service, and are excited about this opportunity to share our message with the greater population. The players will try to establish a new record of over 72 uninterrupted hours of baseball, surpassing their 2015 record of 70 hours, 9 minutes and 24 seconds.

You can join in on the fun by bidding in the silent auction or supporting the players! Prizes include a Big Cedar Lodge Get-a-Way and a Breckenridge Cabin Get-a-way. Continue reading “Stepping Up to the Plate: Breaking Records in Baseball”

Making a Mural for My Community and for Myself

October 6, 2016
By Aaron Skapik, Fellow

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I see art as a valuable tool for anyone to express ideas, create conversations, and heal. For veterans, art can change their life by giving them a sense of purpose, giving them a platform to say something about their time in the military, and to heal through the therapeutic properties of art.

Two semesters ago the art department at Pittsburg State University offered a mural painting class. Having been inspired by murals I’ve seen of artists like Thomas Hart Benton and Michelangelo, as well as the murals near Route 66 close to where I live, I jumped at the opportunity to learn such fascinating craft.

After the class I was so inspired that I came home, took out a pad of sticky-notes and began writing down goals and giving myself small challenges to get me out of my comfort zone. At that point I had been ready to drop out of school and see if I could make it as an artist by selling my artwork. But the mural class made me stay. I decided to change my degree program from Art Education to General Studies and finish school by building a degree that would allow me to be an artist and give back to my community. Continue reading “Making a Mural for My Community and for Myself”

Our Return to the Ferguson-Florissant School District

May 2, 2015

It could not have been a more beautiful day. The Mission Continues returned to the Ferguson-Florissant School District for the second service event this month (we had a blast during our Bravo 2015 orientation project). This time the team served alongside more than 40 hardworking volunteers from our friends at PNC Bank.

In just under five hours, the team tackled several much-needed projects around the Ferguson-Florissant’s Early Childhood Center to foster a safer and more vibrant place for local youth to learn and grow.

The team built raised gardening beds

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Repaired the playground storage shed

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Painted walkways

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Beautified a green space

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And planted new trees surrounding the outdoor playground

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“I was overwhelmed by everyone’s enthusiastic support and boundless energy for the many-faceted project at our center,” said Joy Rouse, Director of the Ferguson-Florisssant Early Childhood Center. “Right this minut,e a class of 3-year olds is outside with big buckets of water dipping in their sprinkling cans to water trees. Your efforts have brought nature closer to us and given our children authentic ways to learn.”

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Taking Action, Today and for the Future

May 1, 2015

The only thing bluer than the bright April sky was the t-shirts that the volunteers wore. On a sunny day, more than 100 veterans from The Mission Continues converged on a park in North St. Louis. They came from all points across the country to revitalize a valuable outdoor educational space for kids from the Ferguson-Florissant School District. In a community still healing from discord and disunity, this diverse group of men and women joined forces to contribute to its restoration and renewal.

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“Not Bad for One Day’s Work”

April 23, 2015

Bravo15_100Bravo Class Fellows and platoon leaders following the service project at Little Creek Nature Area.

The newest class of Mission Continues Fellows and Service Platoon Leaders joined community volunteers on Saturday, April 11 for a day of service at Little Creek Nature Area. The nature area serves as an outdoor learning facility for the Ferguson-Florissant School District near St. Louis, Missouri. Although the project took weeks to plan, volunteers had just one day to execute as a group. Their collective response – bring it on.

Continue reading ““Not Bad for One Day’s Work””