Charlie Mike. This military term is code for Continue Mission—pushing through adversity no matter the difficulties. That’s at the heart of The Mission Continues: to never quit until we’ve completed our mission.

While we’re currently living in a haze of uncertainty due to the coronavirus crisis, our mission is as clear as ever: to keep veterans connected to other veterans and to communities in need. We are charged with carrying on in the face of challenges.

Today, more than ever, we need your help to push forward. Your continued generosity is essential through this challenging time as we continue our vital work in communities.

While we are adapting our tactics, our veterans remain engaged and service-focused. They are maintaining a presence in communities and offering assistance with grocery shopping, gardening, or other needs to vulnerable community members.

During this time, The Mission Continues is also empowering veterans to continue building their skills and knowledge and is encouraging wellness and self-care, as well as social connectedness. Our goal is to ensure the veterans in our network remain sharp, focused and healthy.

Your generosity is essential to provide them the necessary resources to continue their work now and prepare them for perhaps the most important mission ever: to rebuild and fortify our communities after this devastating pandemic.

Even before this crisis, I’ve seen the impact we make in under-resourced communities through my work with The Mission Continues.

I grew up in a rough neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, known for its violence and illegal activities. I always wanted to do something with my life but I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do it if I stayed there.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 brought my life into perspective and crystallized what I wanted to do. When I was 17, I signed up for the Army.

In 2007, I was deployed to Afghanistan for 15 months. After I returned home, I didn’t reenlist. My transition to civilian life was difficult. As I struggled with post-traumatic stress and mental health issues, drugs and alcohol became my refuge.

I finally hit rock bottom in 2015 and decided to turn my life around. I enrolled in college with the goal of helping veterans like me.

A year later, The Mission Continues invited me to join the Service Leadership Corps where I learned leadership skills and met people who helped me see new opportunities.

My experience with The Mission Continues taught me to not count yourself out. Failure is an option but quitting isn’t. Charlie Mike.

Today, I’m pursuing my master’s degree in social work so I can help veterans get a second chance like I had. It’s fulfilling work where I’m combining my personal experience with my education and training.

The Service Leadership Corps also opened doors to community service projects. I am working in my old neighborhood to help others help themselves. I take my kids to service projects to show them the power of giving back. I’ve found my purpose.

These efforts have ripple effects. Thanks to your generous support of The Mission Continues, you’ve engaged thousands of veterans to drive positive change across the country.

Today, it’s more important than ever that veterans have the resources we need to continue our leadership in under-resourced communities. Will you help?

A donation now allows us to continue our vital community work as well as equip, connect and empower more veterans to serve the communities most impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

With your support, the dedication, resilience and compassion of our veterans will—once again—serve as an important example to the rest of the country. Please consider making a donation through our website.

Thank you for helping us accomplish one of our most important missions ever.

Sincerely,

Eric Sowers
Service Leadership Corps Alumnus