The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Column: Veterans adjust through community service

IT junior James Grayson shares some of the resources and services that help veterans transition back to school. Photo by Rossi Ramirez

By James Grayson

The Mission Continues empowers veterans facing the challenge of adjusting to life at home to find new missions. The national nonprofit organization gives veterans a chance to continue their service within their own communities. Upon acceptance into the program, Veterans are paired with a non-profit of their choice for a fellowship with a six month duration.

Many veterans who get out of the military often feel a sense of longing for camaraderie and leadership opportunities. A fellowship with The Mission Continues allows them to meet some of their goals that they would have not otherwise been able to accomplish in their civilian lives.

Some of the nonprofits in San Antonio that have benefitted from a fellow have included the YMCA, the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Operation Homefront.

Fellowships are open to post 9/11 veterans who meet the criteria of the program. If you are interested in applying to become a Fellow with The Mission Continues, please visit http://www.missioncontinues.org.

Richard Delgado, director of military relations, recently concluded his fellowship with The Mission Continues. His fellowship was with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). Delgado chose this organization to do his fellowship because he wanted help find mentors for military children who have a loved one deployed. Most people forget the children and the effects a deployment has on them.

BBBS of San Antonio has a unique program that will help find a mentor for those children and the great part of it is that the parent does not have to worry about not having the same values because of the military service of the mentor.

The Mission Continues empowered Delgado to give back to his community and continue his service along other veterans in the program. He was able to connect with children and give them a sense of purpose by inspiring them to be leaders and work harder to reach their goals but more importantly that they are not alone.

In addition to a fellowship, The Mission Continues has developed “Service Platoons” in major cities. San Antonio has been honored to have their own Service Platoon that will launch in early 2014. The Platoon will consist of 30 or more Veterans, Active Duty, and National Guard/Reserves.

Unlike the fellowship, members come from all eras and branches of the military. Each Service Platoon has their own mission that will impact their community as a whole and meet challenges that otherwise remain stagnant. By using camaraderie within the platoon, members will be able to continue their service together.

If you are interested in joining the The Mission Continues San Antonio Service Platoon, please visit http://missioncontinues.org/get-involved/join-a-platoon and select San Antonio.

About the Author

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James Grayson
James Grayson is a contributing columnist for The Mesquite. He is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree. Grayson started his military service with the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in June of 2001 and served on the Air Defense Artillery 14-Tango by Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) and was stationed at Ft. Bliss Texas.

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