Transitions are never easy! Civilian to military (remember basic training, etc), a PCS, new schools, new career path/job and that last military move – military to civilian. Finding your niche can be difficult! How about trying a fellowship with a non profit to find it?
MilitaryAvenue met part of The Mission Continues team in Motown during a homeless veteran’s project. Young, vital, caring and enthused! The adjectives described them to the “T” but as with all good news that we find for the military community, it is our job to tell others about them! Nick, Tiffani and Meredith, their work teaming with the Home Depot Foundation during “The Celebration of Service” was exciting. But what caught our attention besides helping homeless veterans was their “fellows program”. Nick and Tiffani were part of the program so we took an opportunity to find out more about this transition idea for veterans.
Meredith Knopp talking with Col K (center) and husband, Ken in MotownMeredith Knopp, is an eight year Army veteran, and the Vice President of Programs for The Mission Continues. She traveled to be in Detroit to participate in “The Celebration of Service” and we briefly talked and arranged a follow up meeting to discuss the fellowship program for post 9/11/2001 veterans. With a sense of service that inspires them, many enter the armed forces with a purpose and she said that the fellowship program is a way to continue that service with their local communities after leaving the military.
“Seeing tremendous growth” according to Knopp; “The Mission Continues” fellowship program has 94 alumni, have awarded 180 fellows in 30 states with 87 current fellows. Founded by former Navy SEAL, Eric Greitens in 2007, the organization provides fellows for organizations such as the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA and several others. Eric, a Rhodes Scholar, wanted to help veterans serve their communities.
Meredith said, their mission was to assist “citizen leaders” to continue their life of service and they “wanted to give back to the vets”. Laughing, she told us that she was born on the 4th of July and her family expected her to be involved with national service. “Inspired by vets” Meredith was excited for MilitaryAvenue to tell others how to apply for a fellowship. Do you want to be part of a super organization, learn more about yourself and serve a need in a local community? She said,
“We are the only national nonprofit challenging post 9-11 veterans to rebuild a sense of purpose through community service. By empowering our veterans to serve again as civic leaders, their service gives them purpose and strengthens their communities.”
Wall art at Veteran Center in DetroitLofty goals but being met as we observed. The application is online and requires some preparation and effort by the veteran! They are looking for individuals who can find their own opportunities! Reaching out to be part of a program that creates a means to learn a community, serve it and benefit from your service! It is a fantastic means to reach personal goals as well during your transition.
A touch of the heart too! The fellows are inspired by also being part of “The Families of the Fallen”. Each fellow will be able to choose a fallen military member to honor during their period of service. Or a partner of The Mission Continues, the Travis Manion Foundation will select one for you but the key point is sharing updates on your fellowship efforts with the family you are honoring with your service.
“Together, The Mission Continues and the Travis Manion Foundation will honor the fallen by challenging the living.”
Maybe you are part of a non profit organization? Would you like to host a fellow? Think what they bring to the table for you! If you think your organization has a need for a part time, hard working veteran who is enthused about service to others, contact The Mission Continues. Please check out details for hosting a fellow on their website, Host A Fellow at Your Organization.
We can all be part of something bigger than ourselves during our lifetime! Veterans intrinsically understand that – after all they are veterans! Remember Veterans Day this year and make it special for all of our veterans from WWII to Afghanistan – They have made our world a better place! Thank you Meredith for your time and we do hope your Tigers are one year away from the next World Series!
Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue by Dan KissingerbyColonel KonMonday, October 17, 2011Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestMilitary Life:Col K,Homeless Veterans,Military Employment,Veterans,Veterans Day