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Politics Aside

BJ Herman

BJ serves as the Regional Administrator for Region X. He is retired from the Army after most recently serving as an Air Defense Battalion Commander at Lewis-McChord and enjoys serious cycling in his downtime.

As a new member of the Team Rubicon staff who just happened to start the week prior to Election Day in the United States, I thought I would share my observations for how to escape the political machine that is currently everywhere. Despite having to listen to ads and attacks from competing parties for months, being given the right to publicly challenge an idea and vote is part of an amazing democratic process for Americans.

Where my observations of how Team Rubicon fits into this are as follows: the vision TR’s co-founders put into action in Haiti captures the very essence of challenging the status quo. Their belief that they could absolutely make a difference, no matter what the odds, is not unlike that of most politicians. They saw a problem and took action. In doing so, they successfully created a committed constituency that will enable TR to become the best disaster response organization on the planet.

Seattle-area members spent Veterans Day serving at a Habitat for Humanity build.
Seattle-area members spent Veterans Day serving at a Habitat for Humanity build.

Where Team Rubicon differs from politics is how the committed constituency simply gets shit done. Those who have signed onto this grand idea aren’t motivated by eloquent speeches or attacks on others serving. As a matter of fact, TR’s number one rule states, “Don’t be a dick,” which rules out show-boating or taking pot shots at other organizations. What I have personally seen during Operation: Good Medicine and through service project support like Night Strike and Habitat for Humanity, is a committed team determined to make a difference.

Members of Region X spent much of October providing wildfire relief in Okanogan County, WA.
Members of Region X spent much of October providing wildfire relief in Okanogan County, WA.

Unlike many politicians, Team Rubicon doesn’t need to change its message to keep its constituency. We simply accept anyone who has a passion for veterans and has a desire to serve. It is a relatively simple concept I find incredibly refreshing, especially during this election season.

For those who are already committed, thank you. If you haven’t yet taken a chance, just find a TR member or sign on to participate and I think you too will find a welcome escape.