Connected by Experience and United Through Service

Kelly Scanlan

After returning home from Afghanistan, Kelly Scanlan felt directionless and struggled to find a new purpose. With Team Rubicon, she was able to experience the strength of being part of a dedicated, hardworking, team again.

I joined the Canadian Army when I was 16 and like most, I wanted to make a difference in the world. Growing up in a post 9/11 world, I remember everything seeming so much scarier during that time than ever before. Living with that uncertainty and fear really contributed to my decision to join the Canadian military. I wanted to be able to go out and help people. I wanted to make the world just a little less scary for someone else.

In 2010, I was deployed to Afghanistan. When I came home, I found myself struggling with a number of injuries both physical and mental. For years, I felt directionless like I could no longer be useful or find a real purpose anymore. I tried getting involved in a variety of other organizations, but nothing seemed to fit right until I learned about Team Rubicon.

2016.09.08_GeauxBig_CALLAHAN_005

I first heard about Team Rubicon during their deployment in Alberta, Canada, where they were assisting with the Fort McMurray wildfires. There was a team of veterans and emergency services volunteers, who were using their unique knowledge, skills, and strength to help make a difference in the world. When I had the chance to join the ranks of other active and deployed Team Rubicon members, I immediately signed up. 

2016.09.03_GeauxBig_CALLAHAN_005

At the end of August 2016, I was deployed to Louisiana as part of Operation Geaux Big to assist with flood disaster relief. This deployment has been one of the best experiences I have had in many years, and I feel like I have found a place where I fit again. Team Rubicon didn’t care that I was injured or inexperienced. They only cared that I was ready and willing to make a difference in the world again. Team Rubicon was dedicated to making sure that every veteran and volunteer had a place and a purpose. With Team Rubicon, I was able to work with an amazing group of people and experience the strength of being part of a dedicated, and hardworking team again.

2016.09.03_GeauxBig_CALLAHAN_006

It didn’t matter that we were from all over the country and other parts of the world. It didn’t matter that we came from different military and emergency services backgrounds. We were connected by our past experiences and now united by a shared goal of wanting to help however and wherever we could to put a bit of hope and goodness back into the world. Operation Geaux Big is the first Team Rubicon deployment I have been on, and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I fully intend for Geaux Big not to be my last deployment with Team Rubicon. 


Want to join the team? Sign up to volunteer and support those in the field.
  • Reflection

    A Better Tomorrow

    A volunteer responding to tornadoes in Ohio gets a glimpse at the hidden value of the work Greyshirts do.

  • Preparedness

    How to Prepare Your Pets for Disaster

    From leashes for Fido to carriers for Kitty, here are our top disaster preparedness for pets tips to add to your emergency planning now.

  • Feature Story

    Serving World Health Means Innovating

    From Haiti to Ukraine, for World Health Day, we look at where we've delivered disaster relief and humanitarian aid over the past 14 years, and how far we have to go.

Read More Stories