Coming to theatres April 15th is the next installment of the Star Trek series with STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS. Many a service person will be in line to see the film, but what these service men and women might not know is what director JJ Abrams and wife Katie McGrath do to support our military!

They support a program called THE MISSION CONTINUES. What is THE MISSION CONTINUES? Jumping straight in it is a group that challenges veterans who have struggled to find purpose. At THE MISSION CONTINUES they find camaraderie along with the structure of the military. What happens here is no charity but instead a challenge takes their skills and find a way to continue to serve at home.

The intent is to help give them back the strength and purpose to help our communities. Their mission “is fueled by a deep belief that our veterans are assets whose leadership is needed now more than ever here at home”.

The program provides community service fellowships to post-9/11 vets to help them change their own lives by serving others in the community. The fellowship includes serving for six months at a local non-profit organization to address educational, environmental and social issues. The goal is to gain full-time employment, higher education and a permanent place to serve the community.

Such as Melissa Steinman, who served six years with the United States Coast Guard and after 9/11 received orders to Iraq. After returning home Melissa felt everything in her life had changed. THE MISSION CONTINUE sent her to the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center and Melissa says, “Working with my own strengths allows me to feel effective in what I do. Likewise, committing time to help people in need shows those people that they are valuable”.

George Ortiz served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and after giving to his country came home to difficulties relating to others. Becoming part of THE MISSION CONTINUES, George worked with Door of Hope and helped homeless families by working with after-school programs and mentoring children. “I choose to serve because I have abilities, skills and time which can be used to enrich my community”, says George of his experience.

Finally, Joseph Padovano who served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Infantry Machine Gunner. He was deployed to Iraq, twice, and captured foreign fighters. When Joseph came home he struggled with the fact that some of his brothers did not come home. THE MISSION CONTINUES found a place for Joseph with the Long Island Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Joseph says, “I am thankful for the opportunity to continue serving my community while also showing people that veterans are still capable of doing great things even after they finish their time in the service.”

The result of THE MISSION CONTINUES is to bring together military and civilians so that each can better understand the other and appreciate our military.

THE MISSION CONTINUES has received recognition by The NonProfit Times as “One of the nation’s 50 best NonProfits to work For”, finalist for the US Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center’s Annual Corporate Citizenship Award, The Center for Social Development at Washington University published the first external assessment of the impact of THE MISSION CONTINUES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM.

The results are astounding as:
• 71 percent of Fellows have furthered their education
• 86 percent of Fellows have transferred their military skills to civilian employment
• 86 percent of Fellows have believed the program helped them to become a leader within their community and,
• 91 percent of Fellows have taught others the value of service and were able to sustain a role of service within their community.

How do you get involved? First, INVEST – Support THE MISSION CONTINUES with a financial contribution, and share the belief that veterans are assets; second – SERVE as a Fellow or serve alongside our Fellows at a Mission Continues service project in your community; finally, PROMOTE – share our mission to your networks and the community via social media, special events or word of mouth!

Some of the organizations that THE MISSION CONTINUES Fellows have worked with include: Habitat for Humanity, The American Red Cross, The Humane Society, Children’s Hospital, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Make a Wish Foundation and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

So who is eligible for THE MISSION CONTINUES? They include Post 9/11 service, no longer Active/Guard/Reserve status with honorable discharge, minimum 24 months of service (unless serious injury was sustained to prevent further service), and clean criminal background check.

If these apply and you would like more information please call: 314.588.8805 or email at fellowships@missioncontinues.org. Also, read more about the program at www.missioncontinues.org, www.facebook.com/themissioncontinues, at Twitter @missioncontinue.

THE MISSION CONTINUES challenges veterans to serve and lead in communities across America.

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.


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