A Place to Call Home

Jonathan Sappington

Jonathan is a Marine veteran, Team Rubicon volunteer, and Mississippi resident currently pursuing his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine.

I first learned about Team Rubicon while attending a Student Veterans Association (SVA) conference in Orlando, where CEO Jake Wood was a speaker. Sharing his experiences and the mission of TR made an impact on me, and I signed up shortly thereafter.

Although I signed up, it was close to three years before I became involved. I was in medical school and no longer surrounded by my veteran friends, like I had been at Mississippi State. The time constraints imposed upon me by demands of my studies made it difficult for me to remain involved in community service and extracurricular activities, like I had been in the SVA. All of these things combined to create a feeling of isolation within myself.

Jonathan Sappington (far right) deployed on Operation Delta Blues in his home state of Mississippi this month.
Jonathan Sappington (far right) deployed on Operation Delta Blues in his home state of Mississippi this month.

Things changed in December of 2015, after a tornado destroyed homes in the county where I’m from in Mississippi. After seeing that Team Rubicon would be assisting in disaster relief efforts there, I knew I had to get involved. Upon arrival, I could immediately feel the camaraderie present between the volunteers present.

The camaraderie was something that I had missed since my time in the Marines.

The group moved with a sense of purpose and was able to provide relief for many individuals in the affected area. By the end of the operation, I had received an indescribable amount of satisfaction and pride from being able to help out the people of Tippah County, Mississippi. My experience in Operation Skipping Christmas truly impacted my life. It was there that I realized that not only does Team Rubicon provide relief to thousands of people across the globe, but they also provide a place for veterans like me to call home.

Jonathan first deployed to Operation Skipping Christmas on Dec. 26 in Mississippi.
Jonathan first deployed to Operation Skipping Christmas on Dec. 26 in Mississippi.