I’ve never been around veterans before, so I didn’t know if I’d be accepted as an equal. Right away, I was included and never felt like the awkward new guy. Early on, I was given a chance to be a team leader, and it felt really good to be trusted with some responsibility. I’ve never felt very self confident, and this has been a big boost for me.
I’m taking it all in, learning and growing as a person while I’m out here. This has been an interesting experience because it’s also the first time TR has worked alongside NECHAMA on an operation, and I’m excited to be a part of that, too.
I’ve enjoyed helping people who are perhaps having the worst time of their lives. Many have lost everything and don’t have anyone to turn to. Yesterday, while working on a flooded home covered in mold and muck, I looked up and pushed the back of a closet shelf up because it was stuck. The whole thing rocked forward and then a Civil War era belt-buckle fell and hit me square in the forehead between my safety glasses and my hard hat. Later that day, we gave the homeowner the belt buckle. He didn’t say much but he had some tears and a hopeful look in his eyes. From the moment I arrived, we bonded, and I feel like I have be a part of Team Rubicon forever.