Since Hurricane Katrina, I have found myself drawn, if not compelled, to serve as part of a disaster relief effort/organization. But it wasn’t until seeing a segment on the NBC Nightly News highlighting the work of Team Rubicon that I found an organization made up of people like me — military veterans, emergency services types — in search of a mission. I was sure I’d found a place where I could “fit in.”
For nearly my entire adult life, I have served as an active duty airman, an Army National Guard officer, and civilian police officer. Now having retired from both the military and civilian police work, I have finally found an outlet for my desire to serve.
On Saturday, April 13 I deployed with Team Rubicon for the first time, and seldom have I worked so hard, and laughed so much all while helping the tornado victims of Hazelwood and Florissant, MO. Erik Papineau and Andrea Cekovsky provided solid leadership to a team comprised primarily of “new guys.” They just didn’t lead though. They took the time necessary to explain Team Rubicon’s mission and founding principles. By the end of the day, we were a bunch of dirty, worn-out, and well-satisfied volunteers who put in a long day’s labor shared with new-found friends.
While I wish no disaster of any kind befall any community, the appreciation and thanks of the homeowners we served; combined with the energy and camaraderie of those beside whom I worked, now fuels my drive to serve on the next deployment. Special thanks to Erik, whose phone call allowed me the opportunity to participate. Thanks to Team Rubicon, I’m proud to be able to say for me “the mission continues.”