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Senior Corps

Among the milestone events that have marked our nation's history, World Word II is one everyone knows of but few remember. The heroes of that war, their shared sacrifice and their continued dedication, shows they truly are the greatest generation. Montana's Bernard Mulder, 89, is one of these heroes.

It's no secret that personal attention in the classroom can deliver big results on a report card. For children of military families, that extra kindness can be even more crucial. Frequent moves and the stress caused by having a parent on deployment can take a toll. But a special group of military kids in Dover, DE is getting a little support from a few great Grandparents.

On the National Service blog, the past few weeks have been dedicated to veterans. We've shared stories of WWII and Gulf War vets, of vets inspiring and helping young people, and of vets serving their country on the battlefield, and off.

Though retired from the service for 14 years, 68 year-old veteran Larry Mills found he wasn't done serving. He answered this call by serving fellow veterans through the Senior Companion program, one of three Senior Corps programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

On April 27, Tuscaloosa, Alabama was on the minds of many Americans, but most didn't realize the damage statewide, especially in the small town of Hackleburg, population 1,500. In a rural area nearly 100 miles away from Birmingham, Hackleburg remains in the shadow of Tuscaloosa but the damage was just as bad, if not worse. The majority of the town was demolished and 17 residents were killed in the storm.

One wouldn't expect to see a 90-year-old wandering the corridors of Remann Hall, a juvenile detention center in Tacoma, WA. However, Del Rotan, a World War II veteran, has made Remann Hall his “second home,” mentoring at-risk youth at the facility for 16 years as a foster grandparent.

Last year Senior Corps volunteers contributed more than 80 million hours of service and improved the lives of more than 1.5 million Americans. They tutored or mentored 300,000 children, served more than 560,000 veterans, and helped nearly 800,000 older Americans live independently in their homes.

John Urbigkit has service in his blood. He has volunteered as an EMT medic, Boy Scout leader and even earned a Purple Heart for his service in the Korean War. But it is his role as a Senior Corps volunteer with the Southeast Wyoming Foster Grandparent Program that earned this community hero a distinguished honor that brought him to Washington, DC.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama vowed to “make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America,” and he traveled to Georgia today to discuss the need for early childhood education. Improving education is a priority at the Corporation for National and Community Service that we support through proven national service efforts that make a difference in the lives of millions of students.

Today, 832 mayors from big cities to small towns and everything in between are participating in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. What a great way to highlight the many ways that AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers demonstrate the power that every citizen has to make a difference

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