Operation: Midnight Ride – an appropriate name for Team Rubicon’s operation in Revere, MA. Midnight Ride refers to the town’s namesake, Paul Revere, and his famous ride to alert the militia: “The British are coming.”
A tornado touched down in a small city on the North Shore of Massachusetts. I’m a North Shore kid; Revere borders the town where I grew up.
I joined the Marine Corps in 2004, the summer before my senior year of high school. With my mind made up, I joined the infantry. Before I knew it, I deployed, went to sniper school, and deployed again. My partner-in-crime the entire time was my good friend Keeghan O’Brien, now a Boston firefighter, Massachusetts Field Operations Coordinator for TR, and a South Shore kid (don’t hold it against him).
We were both busy living our lives outside of the Marine Corps attending school, working, and spending time with our families, but there was always that itch. That voice in the back of our heads that said we needed to be doing something more. He was a Boston firefighter and I was a nursing assistant in an emergency room – why would we still have that itch?! Whatever the reason, it was that same itch compelling us both to volunteer for our third deployment in 2011.
Coming home from that deployment our chaplain spoke to the battalion. He said, “When you get home don’t forget, it is in your nature to serve.” He went on to explain that service isn’t restricted to the military kind, we could serve our communities through a variety of ways. But he stressed that this is an important part of each one of us, and it really hit home.
Being a part of TR gives us back part of what we lost leaving the military. It gives us purpose and a chance to serve our community. Being able to get to work with my hands and feel productive again is an amazing feeling.
Operation: Midnight Ride was my first TR deployment. The day before, I accompanied Keeghan to Revere where we did assessments of potential work sites. Conducting these assessments not only allowed us to survey the damage, it also allowed us to speak with the people affected by the storm. We got to hear their stories, problems, and concerns. People in the Northeast aren’t normally concerned with tornadoes, so they usually aren’t insured with that coverage. Some of the quotes these people received were nothing less than extortion. Elderly women were being quoted thousands of dollars to clear a tree or two out of their yards.
The next day, TR arrived, chainsaws in hand, and we put in work. Every team member lent a hand in one way or another and we got the job done. I’m proud to be a part of Team Rubicon and grateful for the opportunity to once again serve.