October 8, 2016

We recently welcomed Tony Arendt to the Mission Continues family as our Midwest Executive Director. Tony will be spearheading our plans for building local relationships and making a sustainable impact in cities like Chicago, Detroit, and more. Hopefully you’ll get to meet Tony yourself, but in the meantime, here’s a brief introduction.

When Tony Is in Uniform

You’re a Navy veteran, and served 15 years. What do you miss about the military? On the flip side, what do you NOT miss about the military?
The camaraderie was pretty cool, everyone was so passionate and driven by the mission. I definitely don’t miss the travel and being away from family all the time…ended up being over 1000 days deployed. It wears on everybody after a while. I’m still a Navy reservist with Marine Corps unit called 6th ANGLICO.

What is something embarrassing that’s happened to you while serving?
At boot camp in Great Lakes, there are these floor to ceiling windows right next to the exit of the chow hall. Of course the recruits keep them super clean, so shouldn’t have been a surprise when I returned my tray and marched right into one while trying to leave. I nailed my forehead and the whole chow hall heard…but, there are others who’ve done that right?


When Tony Is in the Office

What drew you to The Mission Continues?tony_head-shot1
I wanted to be able to contribute to my community in Chicago and the Midwest. After so much time overseas, it didn’t seem right not to put as much effort in at home. On a deeper level, what drew me to The Mission Continues was the same thing that drew me to the military: the opportunity to serve and the dedication that people show every day. It energizes me and makes me want to work that much harder.

What is something that you experienced at The Mission Continues which you didn’t expect?
The openness and acceptance into the organization has been really refreshing, especially in these first few months when I feel like all I’m doing is stealing oxygen.


When Tony Is at Home

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time in the gym or on my road bike. It’s great stress relief for me, and there’s definitely something cathartic about it!

What book or movie had the most impact on you and why?
Lately, it’s the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger, but over the years I keep circling back to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance — ruminating about life while on a motorcycle ride across the country is pretty damn cool.


Want to join the team? Check out our careers page for available opportunities. 

Report for duty in your community with The Mission Continues. Serve with a Service Platoon at an upcoming service event near you or apply for a fellowship. You can learn more about our programs on our website and stay updated on the latest news and announcements on Facebook and twitter.