Operation Enduring Service: Military Veterans Mark the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Throughout this year, thousands of veteran volunteers will lead and support service efforts across the country to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, recognizing the service and sacrifice of the all-volunteer force that served in the wake of that day. Launched by The Mission Continues, this extended campaign will also kick off the next 20 years of a veteran-led movement of service.

In the two decades since 9/11, veterans have continued to step up and serve their country, creating connections and relationships that have deepened their sense of belonging and purpose through The Mission Continues. And they’re just getting started, as veterans are deploying support for more than 80 projects between July and November to communities all across the country.

“The Mission Continues is eager to recognize those who have put service above themselves since 9/11,” said Mary Beth Bruggeman, President, The Mission Continues. “This is a natural and necessary continuation of service for our veterans, who are doing what they do best, by going where they are needed most: volunteering in communities, responding to natural disasters, tackling food insecurity and most recently, pitching in with vaccinations during COVID.”

The Signature 20th Anniversary Service Projects will kick off on July 17th in Chicago, led by Army veteran Rogelio Villa, Chicago Platoon Leader for The Mission Continues. Veterans and volunteers will be serving at two sites: Enlace La Calabazas Community Garden and Yollocalli, which serve as youth art and cultural centers and provide equal access to communal, artistic, and resources for the Little Village neighborhood in Chicago. Participants will finalize a two-year project to build an archway entrance, benches, tables, and garden structures at the community gardens.

“I hope to get out there to do some good work and continue to serve, but instead of serving with weapons, serving with a sense of meaning and purpose in our hearts and in our hands,” Villa said. “It’s also great to be able to honor those who served and those heroes who never made it back. There’s no better way than to continue doing work in my community and to honor them through service.”

The Beyond 9/11: Operation Enduring Service campaign is made possible with support from the following partners: NFL- BWF Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Community grant, Raytheon Technologies, Starbucks, BAE Systems, Inc. and CarMax.

Additional Signature Service projects are planned in the following cities:

  • Los Angeles – August 28
  • New York City – September 18
  • Dallas – October 9
  • Washington, D.C. – November 6

For more information about registering to volunteer and to hear real stories about these veterans, please visit: https://www.missioncontinues.org/enduringservice/.