Deploy With a Team of Veterans and Build a Stronger Community



ATLANTA, GA | June 8-15, 2017

In June of 2017, The Mission Continues deployed more than 70 veteran volunteers to Atlanta’s Westside for a week-long service mission to tackle some of the community’s toughest challenges. The Westside district includes the neighborhoods of Vine City, English Avenue, and Castleberry Hill. Using their skills, leadership, and experience, our volunteers worked alongside families and community partners to deliver a week of impact across the Westside.

“What I took away from Operation Westside Surge is that I have a new family that works like a well-oiled machine. The different personalities along with the passion and work ethic were so infectious. Simply put it was a camaraderie like no other.” – AJ Thompson


Atlanta has a proud history — and has a FUTURE — worth fighting for.

As with many urban areas in America, Atlanta’s Westside residents endure daily struggles related to under-resourced schools, depopulation, blight, and unemployment. Such poverty-related trials are experiences that many veterans last encountered during deployments to countries in crisis.

Veterans are a powerful force when called upon to serve. Using their skills, leadership, and experience, they worked alongside families and community partners in Atlanta — all of whom are working together to revitalize these neighborhoods through positive action and co-operation. Veterans’ skill sets can inspire residents to take pride in their city again to continue the mission after Operation Westside Surge. And with more than 200 active members of The Mission Continues engaged in community efforts across Atlanta — veteran leadership is at the heart of
sustaining this work for years to come.

“I crave to feel useful and belong to something bigger than myself designed to tangibly help the vulnerable. My volunteer work up until Operation Westside Surge, while enjoyable, hadn’t yet filled the void in me, or given me a new life’s purpose. I seek something more in my life, but, until OWS, wasn’t quite sure what. The OWS impact on me has been life-changing. The most enjoyable part was serving alongside other veterans, each with their own struggle, but all of us with the same heart—to continue to serve our country.” – HEATHER CERESTE

Mattie Freeland Park
June 10, 2017
Mattie Freeland Park
June 10, 2017

Mattie Freeland was a longtime resident of English Avenue in Atlanta. In a neighborhood that suffered greatly during and after the crack epidemic of the 1980s with violent crime and blight, Mattie was a fixture of positivity and love. She was considered a grandmother to all in her community. While she lived, Mattie envisioned a peaceful and beautiful gathering place in her neighborhood. After her death in 2008 at age 93, the community rallied to create Mattie Freeland Park. During our day of service at Mattie Freeland Park, youth from the community come out to help paint murals, lay sod, install a swing set and more – all to create the park that Mattie had envisioned.