Signed up and within the week, I was on a plane. In 2014 I was in Gabon, Africa with the Marine Corps and I saw people there volunteering – wasn’t Team Rubicon, just volunteers. I thought about the impact they were having.
When I got home, I reconnected with a friend who volunteered with Team Rubicon and there it was again – volunteering. The idea of volunteering just kept jumping out at me.
When Harvey hit, my friend came to Houston with his Air Force unit and I decided to sign up with Team Rubicon. I didn’t expect it to be real–I got to the airport and almost changed my mind and went home. Then I met up with a bunch of Greyshirts at the airport and everyone was so friendly – I was so amazed.
I called my wife and told her I was changing my mind – until I met all those Greyshirts. In that moment I realized, “I’m doing this. I’m getting on that plane and going to Houston to help people.”
I expected chaos because of the things we’d seen on TV – when I got to Beaumont I was caught off guard by the hospitality and the love in the community.
Neighbors were helping neighbors and everyone welcomed us. These people are amazing–they’re moving forward and they’re doing it with a smile on their face.
It’s heartbreaking – you look through piles and hope you can find one thing to save for them, one memory to give them but the homeowner says no, it’s ok. It all has to go. It breaks your heart.
We all want to do more and we’re sad when we talk about leaving here, but we have families at home. We have to go home and take care of them, too. I can’t help people here in Houston if I don’t take care of myself and my family too.
I joined the Marine Corps to help people. Team Rubicon gave me that – the chance to participate in a humanitarian mission. I’ll definitely be back and I’m going home to tell everyone they need to join Team Rubicon.