I just completed my first deployment with Team Rubicon on Operation Hard Hustle in the Houston Area from September 30 to October 7, 2017.
With some self-reflection on the trip back to reality, I wanted to share what a moving and healing experience this was for me as well as recognize some key people who had the greatest impact on my experience and my life.
I cried every night while we debriefed on the activities of the day. It was so touching to see the impact that we had in the local area as well as how many people look to pay it forward.
The people we helped found a glimmer of hope in a devastating and often overwhelming situation.
I had the chance to work directly on a strike team with Aaron Mallary, Regional Administrator for Region X. Aaron’s professional demeanor, can-do attitude, compassion, and dedication to making things right, coupled with a witty sense of humor were beyond reproach.
His level-headedness, as he was tested throughout the week, while keeping his composure, was impressive, too.
We had about a dozen Starbucks partners on this operation and it was impressive to see all of them jump in, without hesitation or complaint.
The camaraderie of the volunteers I served with was special and I am proud to call so many of these men and women my brothers and sisters.
I’m connected to them in a way I’ll never forget. Particularly, the following individuals will always have a special place in my heart: Maria Colacurcio, Aaron Mallary, Cory Hildebrand, John Owen, Tina Lapp, Matt Kress, Marcus Hobbs, and so many others, especially my newfound Australian friends Deborah Lea and Kaliya Maxwell. Keep kicking ass!