Since retiring from the Navy in 2007, I’ve worked at two companies, started my own business, took up riding a Harley, went to Sturgis, and pursued other endeavors to get reacquainted with that feeling of accomplishment. I’ve been trying to enjoy life and find my way.
Then I found Team Rubicon and deployed for the first time to Operation: Rising Eagle in Arkansas. Once I arrived on station around fellow vets and began helping people, I realized what I’d been missing and longing for— the love, camaraderie, and support from people who understand my work ethic and share the same compassion for helping those who cannot help themselves. This experience is one I want to continue.
Seeing fellow vets with visible war injuries, along with others whose injuries are internal, go out every day to help the families in need with no hesitation is truly inspiring. It reminds me that, “Hey, that is what we do!” We are vets through and through, and not only do we have each other’s backs, but also those of the families that need us. And when these families come up to us and thank us, it nearly breaks my heart because they have no idea what that means to us, as they are the ones who’ve lost so much and forced to start over. They’re so brave, kind, and thankful, and it just makes us want to do more.
Team Rubicon has been a medication I sorely needed and it is healing a lot of my wounds, allowing me to be part of something so much bigger than myself. TR also allows me to reunite and meet fellow vets from all eras of the wars, share experiences, and make new friends that I might need to lean on one day.
Team Rubicon, you have filled a big hole in my heart that I did not even know was there since I retired. Call me any time to deploy and help my fellow neighbors through hard times. I will be there!
-Karen Bump, Region 9