Father’s Day in the Grey
Meet some of this year’s dads and kids spending their time doing disaster relief.
Every year, countless Team Rubicon dads and their kids spend their off time volunteering—sometimes, even together. This year, two Greyshirt kids talk about what makes their dad such a great Greyshirt, and his special techniques for GSD.
Greyshirts since 2019, it was daughter Roni who led dad, Chuck Fraser, into the grey.
“I joined Team Rubicon in March 2019 at the insistence of a friend who went to the University of North Texas and was also on staff with Team Rubicon,” says Roni. “Due to our mutual interest in emergency management, he encouraged me to become a greyshirt while in graduate school in Delaware.”
Then, Roni got Chuck involved. “I joined Team Rubicon after my daughter encouraged me to sign up. She thought it might be a good fit since I am a retired Army veteran and a good way to get involved in the San Antonio metro area.”
Since Chuck joined Team Rubicon, the two have been volunteering together on local service projects. Most recently, they served locally with Texas Ramp Project/Team Rubicon to build a ramp for an individual who uses a wheelchair in San Antonio, TX.
For Roni, the best thing about serving alongside her Army veteran dad has been spending time with him serving the community with an organization she cares so much about. The worst thing? The role reversal between father and daughter, especially when she was serving as the point of contact and event leader in the San Antonio – Del Rio Metro and her dad was a new greyshirt reporting up to her.
If that was awkward for Roni, it was a gift to dad Chuck.
“I enjoyed spending time with my daughter and seeing her execute her first event as a metro city administrator partnering with the Texas Ramp Project,” says the proud papa.
Roni may be the more seasoned Greyshirt, but she already has an idea of what to expect from dad in the field: compassion, for starters.
“One special thing about my dad is his loving and caring heart,” says Roni. “He always puts his family and community first in everything he does, whether serving with Team Rubicon, helping care for his grandson, or tutoring local students in emergency medical services.”
Drew Casterton and his dad, Joel Casterton, were inspired to join Team Rubicon in 2021 after a large tornado hit west Kentucky and Team Rubicon responded.
“We were eager to help but did not know how to get involved,” says son Drew, who is currently enlisted in the Indiana Army National Guard. “After some research, we knew Team Rubicon would be the best organization to join.”
While the two were inspired to join at the same time, it was dad Joel—a U.S. Army veteran—who earned his grey shirt first. Since joining late last year Drew has been busy biding his time, finishing up school, and chomping at the bit to get out in the field, especially with his dad. Joel, meanwhile, has been helping resettle Afghan refugees in Milwaukee with Team Rubicon.
Drew has a pretty good idea of what dad Joel will be contributing the first time they respond to a disaster together: grit, for starters. “My father has years of experience running both saws and heavy equipment and farm machinery.”
While the two have yet to serve together on an operation, they hope to remedy that soon. Earlier this month, the father-son duo did attend a saw one class together—and, they say, had a blast.