Every time I deploy with Team Rubicon, I feel this anxiety of living up to the expectations of the people we are about to help. It’s a heavy lift when so many people count on you to deliver hope. As this feeling overcomes me, I remember I have thousands of brothers and sisters in Team Rubicon volunteers to help me lift that weight. This time I was in Guatemala on Operation Continuing Promise providing media support while my teammates were providing medical services alongside the U.S. Navy.
Team Rubicon brings me a sense of pride balanced with responsibility. Wearing a TR red hat is no joke, it has the same meaning to me as any cover ever worn. When I put on that Greyshirt, I know it is time to buckle up and step into the arena.
In Guatemala, that was exactly what happened. A group of hardened Greyshirts met with some fresh boots and put action into play. We delivered beyond the expectations of the US Navy and lived up to our own. I know that we made a lasting impact on the people of Guatemala.
On my last day in the country, as I walked through the Navy base, a Guatemalan woman walked over saying my name and pointing to her phone. Confused at first, I stopped, turned, and realized my name is on my shirt. No, that was not it. She came over and showed me her phone, she was watching a live stream of Team Rubicon on Facebook. She said, “Thank you for helping us.”
That’s when it hit me. This week of work was a heavy lift, physically and emotionally. At the end of the day, I could be proud of what I accomplished. I could turn to my Tribe for the support I needed to make that heavy lift an easier one.