Although the Christian Science Monitor daily is strictly online, there is a hard-copy Christian Science Monitor Weekly that is worth buying. The cover story of the latest issue is about a group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Each was floundering a bit in civilian life, looking for the same sense of purpose that they had felt in the military.
The story of how they came together in the blighted Oliver neighborhood of Baltimore is inspiring. The setting for the TV show The Wire, the area had been run by drug dealers for decades. Despite the best efforts of the local police, the residents could never get the help they needed to feel safe, to get vacant lots cleaned up, or to weatherize homes.
Today the veterans, applying the leadership and community-rebuilding skills they learned in places like Anbar Province, are making a difference — and feeling motivated once more.
See a great array of pictures at the Monitor website.
Photograph : Christian Science Monitor
Three veterans – (l. to r.) Patrick Young, Earl Johnson, and Dave Landymore – survey buildings and chat with neighbors on a warm Friday night. The men are volunteers with the 6th Branch, a nonprofit organization of volunteer veterans who use their community rebuilding skills to address urban blight in a project called Operation Oliver.