Post World War II, military veterans returned home to a community of veterans and a grateful nation that had shared in the sacrifice of war. These veterans used the brick and mortar posts of the American Legion and the VFW to maintain that esprit-de-corps. They mentored youth, advocated on veterans issues, shared war stories, and confided in each other over beers.
For generations, when veterans took off their uniform, their desire to serve did not end. That’s just as true today. Some very creative post 9/ll veterans’ charities have adapted to this desire and have created models for continued service and engagement. The Mission Continues provides fellowships for returning veterans to continue their service in the public sector. Ride 2 Recovery and Team RWB use the therapeutic effect of physical training to repair the physical and mental wounds of war. Our organization, Team Rubicon, uses continued service through disaster response as a means to maintain purpose, community, and a sense-of-self. Our work is inspired by our late friend Clay Hunt, who took his own life after leaving the service.