Fix Yourself!

Navy veteran Anthony Baerga showed up to volunteer, acquired a full-time gig, and quickly realized the business of disaster response is anything but cushy.

So I’m sitting on the couch watching God knows what on television and the headline reads: Team Rubicon Military Veterans Join Philippines Typhoon Relief tonight at 10:00.

Here I am, an old veteran sitting on the couch with food that’s made a second home on my shirt and I’m thinking, “I should check this place out. And what the hell’s with the name?”

I immediately jumped to my computer and visited the website. I signed up as a volunteer in Roll Call, and literally the next day I was supporting an international relief operation at Team Rubicon Headquarters, mainly helping with logistics and office improvements. I was so excited and immediately welcomed with open arms.

A couple months later, I was hired to work for the best organization in the world and I’ve never looked back. I worked my butt off to try to impress this high-speed outfit of kick-ass civilians and squared away vets. It’s tough to stand out in this team where everyone – from the director of field operations to the membership interns – are extremely busy making a difference in the world. Same goes for our volunteers we serve in the field.

TR staff and interns making bold decisions

TR staff and interns making bold decisions online. 

One day, our CEO Jake Wood pulled me in his office, because our Internet connectivity was FUBAR and it fell on my shoulders. He chewed me out (in a loving way of course), but when an organization that prides itself on responding quickly can’t even return an email, tensions were high. The last thing I remember were the words, “Fix yourself!”

Since that day, I was motivated to make better decisions, keep healthy, and continue to fight for a greater cause. At Team Rubicon, we lean forward and make bold decisions. Sometimes, those decisions don’t lead to the outcome we expect, but we push through and adapt, and we certainly don’t make the same mistake twice. Jake and the rest of the TRibe have been an inspiration to me, and I thank every single one of you for helping me get better mentally and physically.


All hands meeting when a serious threat rears its head in the Pacific.

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