New York (May 19, 2014) – National veterans’ nonprofits The Mission Continues and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) are working together to expand service programs that solve community challenges while helping wounded veterans successfully transition to lives at home.
With support of a $6.3 million, two-‐year investment by WWP, The Mission Continues will grow its veteran Fellowship and community Service Platoon programs – engaging thousands of veterans and communities across the country in local volunteerism. The collaboration will also serve to augment WWP’s 20 existing programs designed to meet the needs of more than 50,000 wounded veterans.
“This collaboration with The Mission Continues reinforces Wounded Warrior Project’s mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors by encouraging the continuation of service,” said Steve Nardizzi, CEO, Wounded Warrior Project. “Our grant recipients like The Mission Continues act as force multipliers that extend our service reach and provide greater support to the veteran community. By serving their community side-‐by-‐side with other veterans they experience the strong sense of camaraderie they felt during active duty.”
The Mission Continues and WWP collaboration will build on the successes of established programs to extend the reach and impact to wounded veterans across the country. Key initiatives will include expanding the reach of The Mission Continues Service Platoons, which are teams of veterans working locally to solve key problems impacting their communities as well as the Fellowship Program, which is an intensive six-‐month service and leadership program for veterans. Additionally, the two organizations will work together to enhance leadership training opportunities, promote thought leadership initiatives and convene influential stake holders to address common challenges affecting this generation of veterans.
Michael Day is a US Marine Corps veteran and an Alumnus of both The Mission Continues Fellowship Program and of Wounded Warrior Project. “I have experienced, first-‐hand, the impact of The Mission Continues and Wounded Warrior Project on veterans. While each has its own unique mission, both organizations are committed to empowering this generation of veterans to do more for their communities, themselves and their fellow veterans." said Michael “Their support allows me to introduce more veterans and community volunteers to the benefits of continued service."
“The Mission Continues’ programs empower veterans to find new ways to serve,” said The Mission Continues CEO and founder, Eric Greitens. “There are thousands of veterans in search of a new unit, a new mission, and a new purpose. The generous support of WWP will provide opportunities for this generation of veterans to serve together again and to tackle pressing issues here at home.”
The Mission Continues’ model of continued service to the community has proven effective for easing reintegration challenges for veteran participants in the Fellowship program – approximately 70 percent of whom self-‐identify as having a service-‐related injury or disability.
Research published by Washington University in St. Louis reveals participation in service-‐based community outreach through The Mission Continues’ Fellowship effectively combines participants’ military leadership skills with purpose-‐driven civic service activities to positively affect personal, family and community life. Notably, approximately 50 percent of the Fellowship alumni surveyed who screened positive for depression at the beginning of the program reported lower levels of depression after completing the program. Additionally, 40 percent of Fellows rated their health status as somewhat better or much better than it was before the Fellowship. Nearly half (45%) of study participants reported that the Fellowship improved their relationships or communication with their families. Fellows also reported that the program helped them improve their job performance (90%), chances of getting a promotion (86%), and chances of finding a job (90%).
Wounded Warrior Project’s Annual Alumni Survey findings support the benefits of participation in programs like those offered by The Mission Continues and WWP. Respondents indicated that talking with another OIF/OEF veteran is the most effective and most often used coping resource for this generation of wounded warriors. The WWP Peer Support Program pairs wounded veterans with peer mentors who are further along on their continuum of recovery and can help fellow warriors visualize what can be achieved through rehabilitation and hard work.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project is recognizing its ten-‐year anniversary, reflecting on a decade of service and reaffirming its commitment to serving Wounded Warriors for their lifetime. The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to serve their country in new ways through two innovative and action-‐oriented programs. The first, The Mission Continues Fellowship harnesses veterans’ strengths, skills and compassion and empowers them to serve in their community on a daily basis over the course of six months. The second, The Mission Continues Service Platoons, brings together teams of veterans with local community organizations and volunteers to build stronger communities. The Mission Continues has helped thousands of post-‐9/11 veterans focus their talents and energy to tackle challenges facing us right here at home. Through a unique model that provides reciprocal benefit for the veteran and the local community, veterans volunteer to help others and, through their service, build new skills that help them launch their civilian career. To learn more, visit: www.missioncontinues.org or follow us on Twitter @missioncontinue.