Army Combat Medic Michael Franks Reflects on Operation: What The Flood

Michael Franks

Volunteering for my community has always been an important part of my life. I started at an early age picking up trash on the sides of roads and schools and working with shelters to stock and distribute food to families during the holidays. Then at the age of 16, I became a volunteer firefighter and quickly fell in love with the job. It was great knowing I was really helping people in need with every call I was able to respond to. I still wanted to help more people in my community, so I went to the police academy and became a police officer. Being a firefighter and police officer at the same time was both crazy and exciting, but I enjoyed every moment.

Army veteran Michael Franks has served as a firefighter, police officer, combat medic and now, a Team Rubicon volunteer.

Army veteran Michael Franks has served as a firefighter, police officer, combat medic and now, a Team Rubicon volunteer.

In 2009, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was still going on, and I felt I should do my part in helping our fellow soldiers in need of medical assistance while at war. I joined the U.S. Army as a combat medic and after four years of service with one deployment, I’m leaving the Army. During my transition, my friend Amy told me about Team Rubicon.

After learning more about the organization, I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of TR. I registered with Region 10, as I am from Washington, and am now getting ready to move back home. When the flooding happened in northern Colorado, I was in the area, so I instantly picked up the phone and touched base some Region 8 personnel. They welcomed me with open arms.

I showed up in Longmont, CO, for Operation: What The Flood. Here for my first deployment and only knowing just one person, I was nervous to learn what work I’d be doing and what kind of people I’d be meeting. But I quickly realized all TR employees were amazing people who were great to work with. I never thought I would come to TR and make lifelong friends, and I definitely didn’t plan to witness a last-minute surprise wedding for two volunteers. Now I realize that in TR nation, anything is possible. I made great friends and helped throw and officiate a wedding in less than 24 hours. I’ve had an amazing time here so far and am excited to see where TR leads me next.

  • Greyshirt Always

    Transforming Time into Impact

    How harnessing the irreplaceable gift of volunteers' time creates lasting impact and builds capacity within Team Rubicon and beyond.

  • Reflection

    Remembering Team Rubicon’s Typhoon Haiyan Response 10 Years Later 

    A Greyshirt reflects on his first international operation, tarping a roof during a 7-year-old’s surgery, and how the disaster relief and humanitarian aid nonprofit has changed over the decade.

  • Reflection

    All the Waterworks

    A Greyshirt reflects on proud moments from his time responding to the Morocco earthquake, and how a water filter and tea with an elder nearly broke his composure.

Read More Stories