On Saturday, April 14, 2012 over 100 volunteers from civilian and military affiliates of 10 different colleges and universities, joined members of the Pat Tillman Foundation, Team Rubicon and The Mission Continues for Veteran Day of Service in Washington, D.C. Beginning on George Washington University’s campus and hosted by GW’s Veteran Service Initiative, the event was kicked off by Sgt. Major Bryan B. Battaglia, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before participants departed to four service sites around the city. Remarks were also made by the Veteran Service Initiative, Team Rubicon, The Mission Continues, Pat Tillman Foundation and HSC Foundation detailing their missions and how students could get involved with their programs.
Spread out over five blocks, volunteers worked side by side with members of the community in Northeast DC’s Kenilworth-Parkside community, in an effort to support the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative. Activities ranged from cleaning, repairing and repainting a childcare center, cleaning out a creek and replanting flowers throughout the community. Another bus of volunteers went north to clean up Langdon Park in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Recreation for the location’s summer preparation. Volunteers were excited to report that they were joined by neighborhood children who had never done community service before, but wanted to help them clean up their community. Lastly, a dozen participants went to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors‘ headquarters to help them prepare for their upcoming National Gala and National Seminar.
After a long day of service, all volunteers returned to campus for a reception hosted by the HSC Foundation and Northrop Grumman. Student veterans were able to meet their local peers and new connections were made, which will surely strengthen the Washington DC Metropolitan area veterans’ community. Participants arrived from American, Georgetown, George Mason, GW, Maryland, Marymount, Loyola, Howard and other local colleges. Many student veterans left the event with new friends and an excitement about the potential of work local student veterans can accomplish in the DC area.
This event served as the official launch of the Veteran Service Initiative, a new program that connects students of the military community with opportunities to serve in their communities, regardless of their university affiliation. The VSI provides resources that can connect individuals with the service they want to provide to their community and with organizations that satisfy their personal or professional goals and interests. The program also provides consulting for large scale projects and initiatives for individuals and large veteran groups, as well as promotes social entrepreneurship through service grants that are available for student veterans. Look back soon for the application!
To learn more about how you or your organization can be involved with the VSI, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-994-9913.