‘Continue the Mission’ launches in Pensacola on June 22, with First Lady Casey DeSantis at the podium to praise the statewide effort.

By Linda Chion

Recruitment is underway for veterans, military spouses and former law enforcement officers to ‘Continue the Mission’ through career and mentorship opportunities aimed toward protecting children.

State agencies, working with local veteran organizations and community groups, among others, are set to fill flexible career openings and mentorship opportunities in the child and family well-being system.

Joe Eletto, a veteran and chair of the Military Affairs Committee at the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce, is a fan of the initiative.

“I believe a lot of veterans would be inclined to get involved,” Eletto said. “It gives the veterans some self-confidence in their purpose, and it addresses a great need in the community: helping children. It’s a double benefit.”

With recruitment events set to spread from Tallahassee through central Florida and beyond, the Continue the Mission initiative aims to fill positions for child protective investigators and mentors for children in need, as well as for mentors to work with new case managers and investigators with the Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF).

Launched as of June 22, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis heaped praise on the initiative, led by the FDCF in collaboration with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We are not only helping children across the state but also helping veterans and retired law enforcement with their mental and emotional well-being, who may feel as though they’ve lost their purpose once they’ve left active duty or have retired,” DeSantis said.

Eletto issued a similar sentiment, seeing in Continue the Mission a greater purpose for addressing the mental health of veterans, “because when you start helping others, you help yourself.”

Given the young age of many retiring veterans, Eletto said, the initiative is spot-on in its efforts to provide civilian job opportunities for veterans, along with military spouses and retired law enforcement officers.

“If you do 20 years in the service and you retire at age 38, you’re going to want to work,” Eletto said. “A lot of these veterans want to contribute to the community they live, and especially so when you’re dealing with children and their future.”

For more, visit www.myflfamilies.com/continuethemission.

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