CSD survey shows effectiveness of veterans and community service

WUSTL group teams up with The Mission Continues to examine reintegration challenges

A new academic survey conducted by Washington University in St. Louis’ Center for Social Development (CSD) at the Brown School and national veterans nonprofit group The Mission Continues points to community volunteerism as an effective tool for addressing veterans’ reintegration challenges.

The multiyear study, part of the CSD’s The Mission Continues National Initiative, examined the personal, professional, relational and societal impacts experienced by more than 400 post-9/11 veteran participants in The Mission Continues service fellowship program, which deploys returning veterans to their communities to perform six months of volunteer service with a local nonprofit.

Veterans’ responses to surveys administered before and
after the completion of their fellowship reveal that the
program effectively combines participants’ military leadership skills with purpose-driven civic service activities to positively affect
personal, family and community life.

“The results show that volunteering with The Mission Continues can help vets re-engage in their communities and can increase their well-being,” said Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, the Ralph and Murial Pumphrey Professor of Social Work at the Brown School and a co-author of the study. “Many veterans could benefit from this program because The Mission Continues provides a structured opportunity for meaningful engagement in activities valued by the community.”

Monica M. Matthieu, PhD, assistant professor at Saint Louis University School
of Social Work and a CSD faculty associate, led the study.

To read more, including key findings of the survey, visit here.