Getting Reacquainted with Purpose in Texas

Cheryl Mann

Cheryl is a Marine Corps veteran from Virginia who’s deployed with Team Rubicon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the tornadoes that swept through Moore Oklahoma in 2013, and the severe flooding in Houston this spring.


In the past several months, I’ve been falling — no, rocketing — into one of the deepest depressions I’ve experienced. I know it’s partly from never really having spiritually recovered from being medically retired from the Marine Corps in 2004; and partly from a life that has somehow become meaningless…I have no real purpose.

Although I’ve reached out to get some help, I knew in my heart Operation Moonshot was a prayer answered. I had the opportunity to put my day-to-day responsibliites on pause: my job, my Master’s program semester, and everything else. I raised my hand and packed my bags. Everything I left in Virginia was petty and meaningless in comparison to what I gained from this deployment.


I gained back a true feeling of purpose, of comraderie, of socialization, if only for a week. I worked hard, felt appreciated; knew I was understood even without any words.

It was the first time in a long time I hadn’t cried daily, for reasons I can’t understand or explain. I forged STRONG friendships, renewed old ones, and felt proud for each day’s work. I helped many Texas citizens in need, but they really have no idea how much it helped me. Team Rubicon and its mission(s) is truly a Godsend, a family, and a beacon of sanity in this sometimes insane existence that veterans share.