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Gratitude is the Greatest Reward

Hurricane Harvey approached quickly with no hesitation. There was very little time to plan for this operation, so we had to work quickly. Operation Shallow Draft was born on August 28. Grit spread throughout all Greyshirts as everyone on the operation banded together to get this response rolling.

Certified teams were sent out on boats to execute water rescues from the first light of day until the last. We navigated the rivers of Houston that were once streets, parks, and yards. The devastation was, and still is, incredible.

One day we were tasked with helping an elderly family and their daughter that was trapped on the second floor of a house. This family was sorely in need of assistance. The husband had just had part of his foot amputated and his wife had recent hip surgery. Insert Team Bravo with the local fire department. Team Rubicon and the fire chief helped carry these survivors through water almost up to our shoulders to get them safely into a boat.

Utilizing the skills I learned in the fire department encouraged and spurred me onward into more rescues. Seeing how thankful these people were made all the time, strategy, and effort worth it. This is the first time TR has conducted this type of op and surely not the last. Saying I am grateful to play a role in this is an understatement.

I could not be any more proud to be a Greyshirt.

John Conway

John is a Marine Corps veteran and career firefighter serving in Massachusetts. He joined Team Rubicon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and has filled multiple leadership roles within the organization including Region I Operations Manager, chainsaw instructor, and Clay Hunt Fellow of cohort three.