Team Rubicon Showed Me I’ve Still Got It

Jonah Thompson

Former Army Watercraft Operator Robert Edwards Finds a New Mission in Missouri

In 1997, I was honorably discharged from the military. In the years since, health problems have only permitted me to hold a desk job. I considered myself to be nothing more than a broken down man with health issues. However, the principles and values of the military were still in my blood, and I felt my mission was not complete, which led me to Team Rubicon.


Operation: Ugly Water in Arnold, MO was my first deployment with TR. On my first day, I warned my team leader that I was broken old man but promised I would work slow and steady. After two days of flood demo, my feet were black and blue and my body was sore but I survived the assault that our Strike Team delivered on that house.


We managed to completely gut a duplex from floor to ceiling and it was an unbelievable experience! I would not trade anything in the world for the experience I had with my new TR family. Not only did I have the opportunity to serve with some amazing people, but I also proved to myself that I still have what it takes.

Operation: Ugly Water may have been my first deployment but it certainly will not be my last!

  • Greyshirt Always

    Transforming Time into Impact

    How harnessing the irreplaceable gift of volunteers' time creates lasting impact and builds capacity within Team Rubicon and beyond.

  • Reflection

    Remembering Team Rubicon’s Typhoon Haiyan Response 10 Years Later 

    A Greyshirt reflects on his first international operation, tarping a roof during a 7-year-old’s surgery, and how the disaster relief and humanitarian aid nonprofit has changed over the decade.

  • Reflection

    All the Waterworks

    A Greyshirt reflects on proud moments from his time responding to the Morocco earthquake, and how a water filter and tea with an elder nearly broke his composure.

Read More Stories