Goldman Sachs sent out a company-wide email after Harvey. They said, “If you’re looking for a way to help, here are five companies we sponsor. Go get involved.” Team Rubicon was at the top of that list. I wanted to donate more than just money. I felt like I needed to actually go to Houston to make a difference.
My parents live in Corpus Christi, TX, my sister lives in Houston, and my husband’s family is in Tampa and Miami, FL. These hurricanes hit us pretty hard. The day to day on deployment was harder than I expected.
The devastation is everywhere. It’s not just one house on a block; you turn a corner and it’s the whole street. Meeting the homeowners is tough. They sit on the driveways and watch us carry out 33 years of their life. There’s sadness, but there’s hope, too. They’re normally excited we’re there. That excitement and gratitude blacks out the foul water, the smell, the mold.
This experience with Team Rubicon reminds me of my time in the service. On a Navy mission in the Mediterranean Sea, my unit pulled 282 African refugees out of the water after their boats capsized in a storm while trying to make it from Northern Africa to Italy. We’d been underway for four months, and five minutes before we started that rescue operation I was complaining about canceled port visits, no downtime, mail was late, we’d run out of milk three weeks ago and then all of a sudden we were saving lives. Everything changed as soon as we started to pull people from the sea.
When I heard Team Rubicon was down here, helping people, I knew I had to help. I’m from Texas. Being able to have an impact in my own country, in my own state, is different from anything I’ve ever done. On top of helping people, I have the pride of being a Texan.
Camaraderie is built through hardship. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own world. People have already forgotten about Harvey; unless you live in South Texas, you don’t know about the suffering here in South Texas. We all have a common goal. No one raised their hand to brag about what they were doing. We all just worked together to achieve the same purpose. I’d tell anyone to join Team Rubicon -this is a family.
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