Veteran Story: Tim Dolen

We caught up with Tim Dolen on his second day at Gettysburg National Military Park and he's wearing a shirt that says “Reporting for Duty in your community.” He started his six-month assignment on October 18, 2017 as Veteran Outreach Coordinator at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site.

My focus will be to build connections with veterans, hopefully lasting connections, so the park can be a place of healing and rehabilitation for veterans who have physical, or not-physical scars. Tim Dolen

The Mission Continues: Tim Dolen sits with Abraham Lincoln
The Mission Continues: Tim Dolen sits with Abraham Lincoln.

NPS Photo

The Mission Continues empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. The non-profit deploys veterans on new missions in their communities, so that their actions will inspire future generations to serve. The Mission Continues Fellowship Program empowers post-9/11 veterans, Guardsmen and Reservists to deploy on new missions in their communities. Each fellowship combines volunteer service, professional development and personal growth to deliver a unique impact in the community.

Dolen is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He served five years, active duty, including most of 2009 in Iraq. Originally from Manteca, Ca. he moved to Pottsville, Pa. when he was 15, two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks.

During his fellowship, Dolen plans to work with existing organizations that help veterans currently doing retreats, excursions or day trips for veterans, either in the area or nationally. “I want to draw them here so they can see that Gettysburg would be a great place for veterans dealing with any sort of issues that are war-related,” Dolen explained.

The Mission Continues: Tim Dolen visits the museum. He stands next to the cannon exhibit.
The Mission Continues: Tim Dolen visits the museum.

NPS Photo

He became a Civil War buff at a young age because “my mom gave me a lot of history books,” he said. “I was upset about moving when I was 15. One of the plusses was Gettysburg. My first year here I visited on a high school field trip. I had never been before but I could recognize some features from reading about Gettysburg and the Civil War. Actually, I also learned a lot about Gettysburg from videogames like Sid Meier’s Gettysburg!”

Dolen will be working about 20 hours each week through March 2018. Share this story with a veteran.

Last updated: October 23, 2017