First Step in Rebuilding

Army National Guard veteran Karl Walker reflects on his first deployment with Team Rubicon.

I joined Team Rubicon about 18 months ago but never deployed. I needed something in my life. I wanted to serve again. When the call went out for Houston, I signed up immediately. I’m a sawyer, Red Card Firefighter, and a math teacher in New York.

Told my superintendent when I signed up for TR, I thought about rejoining the National Guard, and the school would have to let me go. I explained, if I deploy with Team Rubicon, everything I’d be doing would help people. She understood and said she’d support my requests for time off.

I didn’t expect the level of devastation I found in Texas. You can’t see the reality by watching TV. The houses with the FEMA markings on the roof were tough to look at. Entire homes were submerged in water. We carried all of their belongings to the curb and stripped their house down to the studs. I know that’s the first step in helping them rebuild, but it was still tough.

I’m excited to go home and tell everyone about this experience. I want more people to sign up. I want to build Buffalo, NY and make it Team Rubicon strong.


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