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First Deployment

Some of the things that veterans miss when they leave the military are working as a member of a team, a sense of mission and purpose, and interacting with other veterans.

This weekend, Team Rubicon – Region V delivered on that and more on Operation: Flood Wrangler in Dearborn, MI. I’m always amazed, but never shocked, when a group of veterans and like-minded civilians get together to complete a task and it “just happens”. There isn’t a lot of standing around, trying to figure out who’s going to lead, debating the best way to accomplish the job, etc. Someone always steps up, and everyone else jumps in to lend a hand where needed.


What made this deployment special for me was seeing the surprise, relief, and tears when an elderly homeowner, who had lost her husband two months prior, discovered that we were there to help her sort through the possessions in her basement, discard rubbish, sanitize everything… and that we were doing it at no cost to her. I was proud and humbled to realize that something that is so easy to give (our time) was eliciting¬†such a strong response from this woman. It made me want to work harder, be better, and give more.

It was a great first deployment. I learned a lot about disaster response, made a few new friends, learned a little more about myself, and (thanks to the aforementioned homeowner) I did not go hungry on the job (coffee, cakes, juice…. I don’t know how we got any work done).


While I’d never wish for a disaster, I certainly hope that I’m afforded the opportunity to deploy with Team Rubicon again.

Mike Hiltz
US Army Veteran

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