From Tailored Suits to Grey Shirts

Jonah Thompson

Army veteran and Pat Tillman Scholar Eli Feret reflects on finding a renewed sense of purpose on Operation Dry Tears.

In June 2016, I signed out of the Army after 7 years as an infantry officer. I then began my journey in the business world through an MBA at the University of Chicago. Preparing to enter a career of tailored suits and market analysis, I immediately missed the camaraderie and purpose I felt while working and sacrificing alongside American Soldiers while accomplishing an important mission.

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Team Rubicon was there for me. I had previously worked with Region 8 while stationed in Colorado, and as I transitioned to the Midwest I was happy to find that Region 5 welcomed me with open arms. Deploying for Operation Dry Tears in August, I found myself back in the dust and dirt of field work with a team of the best people I’ve ever known. After mucking out homes for 8 hours and sweating through my Tyvek suit, I rediscovered the bond with veterans dedicated to getting shit done that I’d missed since I signed out of the Army in June.

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On my second day of the operation, I saw my name on the roster as a Strike Team Leader. I was immediately nervous and uncertain, fearing that I couldn’t do the job as well as the great TR leaders I’d worked under. Fortunately, my TRibe came together behind me. My team communicated, bonded, and set out to work together as a team to accomplish our mission; which we did. Three days later and several thousand cubic feet of debris removed from households, I knew that no matter where I went or what career I pursued, I would have a family of warriors I could rely on to band together to accomplish an important mission.

Looking for a renewed sense of purpose? Join the team and learn what it takes to get ready for a deployment.

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