On Friday, July 19, Tim Peterson, First Sergeant, USMC (Ret), shipped out to Saint Louis, Missouri for a 3-day orientation and swearing in with The Mission Continues. The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit service organization that empowers post 9/11 veterans to serve their country in new ways. It was founded by Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, Rhodes Scholar and one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People” for 2013. Tim is only the second veteran from Montana to be awarded a Fellowship since the organization’s founding in 2007.
Over the course of the weekend Tim and 80 other veterans – together making up the 2013 Charlie Class – learned about The Mission Continues Core Values: work hard, trust, learn and grow, respect and have fun; their obligations during their fellowship, the support the staff provides, and how to focus their efforts while deploying as leaders in their communities. They also participated in a community service project at The Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club in north Saint Louis. Charlie Class worked alongside more than 300 volunteers to paint the interior of the 40,000 square foot facility, build cubby holes, picnic tables, benches, planters and refurbish the facility’s perimeter fence. The weekend culminated with a swearing-in ceremony at Busch Stadium prior to the Cardinals vs. Padres baseball game.
The Mission Continues provides six-month fellowships to qualified Post 9/11 veterans. The fellowships enable veterans to use the skills they learned during their military careers and apply them to serve in their communities with a nonprofit organization or civic agency of their choosing. During the fellowship, veterans volunteer 20 hours a week, complete monthly assignments designed to foster personal and professional growth while providing opportunities to learn new job skills, and make lasting impact in their communities.
Tim, who will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Conservation, a minor in Wildland Restoration and a GIS Certificate, is volunteering at the Bitter Root Resource Conservation and Development Area in Hamilton.
The mission of the Bitter Root RC&D is to promote conscientious development of the area’s natural and human resources, while maintaining or improving the quality of those resources and the quality of life in Mineral, Missoula and Ravalli Counties.
During his Fellowship, Tim will gain a better understanding of how nonprofit organizations are organized, managed and funded. He will work with the Community Forester by developing hazardous fuels reduction plans; with the youth education coordinator to develop environmental education presentations; and will work to maintain and modernize the GIS and other databases. Additionally, Tim hopes to increase awareness of The Mission Continues within the veteran community, veteran support agencies, nonprofit agencies and federal and state agencies, ultimately to recruit 10 more Fellows in Montana. In order to achieve this last mission, Jason Crane, a recruiter with The Mission Continues for the West region, will be visiting Hamilton and Missoula the week of September 16th to present The Mission Continues to interested veterans, nonprofits and federal/state agencies.
For more information about The Mission Continues visit missioncontinues.org. For more information about the upcoming visit call Tim at 406-363-5450.