JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (September 15, 2015) – On September 11, 2015, injured veterans and staff members with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) joined service platoons from The Mission Continues (TMC), community volunteers, and parents for a day of service at Democracy Prep, a Washington, D.C., charter school in Congress Park.
“In the WWP Peer Support program, our mantra is ‘peer mentoring is not about me, it is about the warrior I am mentoring,’” said Ernest “EJ” Delpero, WWP Alumni and peer mentor. “Similarly, the 9/11 memorial project was about service, not self. It was about coming together with fellow veterans and making a positive impact in the community where there was great need. There is something empowering about a movement like that.”
Tasks for the day of service included building a brand-new community garden, painting the school’s logo on a wall, painting a map of the United States in an outdoor play area, revitalizing the school’s exterior front, and interacting with students by talking about the meaning and history of September 11.
“In just one day, nearly 80 volunteers rebuilt a flower and vegetable garden, painted a large school crest in the courtyard, and renovated much of the school’s front exterior,” said Mary Beth Bruggeman, executive director of the southeast region for The Mission Continues. “We hope our work made a lasting impression on these kids that their community cares for them, and that service is something to be learned, valued and practiced every day.”
“WWP’s Alumni program is all about engaging and connecting with fellow warriors, and the day of service was a great opportunity for WWP Alumni to connect with each other and serve with their brothers and sisters again,” said Ryan Kules, national alumni director at WWP.