PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can be common for war veterans. Often, war veterans lose a part of themselves in battle. They often come home bruised and wounded inside even if they don’t necessarily have any physical wounds. War can destroy their emotional stability.
This is why an organization named The Mission Continues was founded. This organization aims to help war veterans find a purpose for their lives after getting into battle. Aptly named, the organization aims to aid war veterans in helping their community. The most common problem of war veterans actually involves finding a job. Most war veterans are left doing nothing at home without stable jobs. This organization makes it possible for them to be productive and help their community.
This program was actually founded by someone from battle, a former Navy Seal named Eric Greitens. He was a former Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Duke University and actually spent a lot of humanitarian work in places like Bosnia, Calcutta and Rwanda. A lot of his youth was spent in working on humanitarian support. In the long run, he joined the Navy to help the community more by offering his service.
For Greitens, however, serving is not enough. So, when he returned home and got exposed to the most common symptom of war veterans, he decided to do something about it. He thought that public service would give his fellow war veterans a new sense of purpose. So, in 2007, the Mission Continues started out their service to the community with 3 members. In 2012, the Mission Continues had approximately 500 fellows.
Veterans often come home wounded inside and out, but this programs aims to help them heal faster and still be of service to their countrymen.
Greitens know for a fact that war veterans are important even in today’s society, so he actually puts emphasis on what he thinks most war veterans want to hear from their community: “We still need you”.
Anyone can join the Mission Continues programs in various ways: Fellowship
A fellowship program is open for all post 9/11 veterans of any race, gender or branch of service. It actually involves around 20 hours of service at any non-profit organization. Fellows are even encouraged to join an organization based on things dear and near to their hearts.
To become a fellow, you must have served the US Military after the 9/11 bombing and attained an honorable discharge except when there was a sustained injury that prevented such. Also, fellows should not be on active duty, reserve or in the National Guard. Lastly, they must also have a clean criminal record.
Being a Mission Continues fellow helps war veterans with their PTSD by:
- Letting them connect with fellow veterans in their community and across the country. The fellowship orientation is a good example of how war veterans are acquainted with each other.
- Developing their skills and professional network. Fellows often plan and attend their projects with not just their fellow veterans but civilians as well.
- Translating their military-based skills to other skills that will be beneficial to being a part of the civilian workforce.
- Providing them with a cost-of-living stipend
Truly, the Mission Continues empowers war veterans in adjusting to their civilian life after their service. With this program, war veterans can find another purpose in their lives by helping the community they live in and being passionate about their work. This unique program has become successful in its endeavor because it addresses a real problem that is often left unsaid.
Its success is due to the fact that it addresses not just one problem about PTSD, but also deals with the problems of the community at large. It has produced several community leaders who are now improving the resources of the community when it comes to education and various other aspects. It is a success because it aims to make a long-term impact not just on the war veterans involved in the program but also to the community they help.
Hopefully, this movement inspires a future generation of war veterans so that they can productively integrate themselves back into society and make sustainable transformation in their own communities.
To date, they have the support of various private donors, corporate sponsorships and other foundations. From just three fellows back in 2007, The Mission Continues now has thousands of war veterans as fellows who aim to serve an entirely new mission at home. Everyone is invited to join the program by visiting their website www.missioncontinues.org.
Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir
In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
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“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell
“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter
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