Can-Do Coachman

Can-Do Coachman
Mike Lee

Mike Lee, a native of Chicago, graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Creative Writing. At LMU, Mike developed international and domestic volunteer trips and served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Student Veterans Organization. Mike’s professional background is in advertising and marketing, and has experience in executing large print and digital campaigns for non-profit and tourism clients. He lives in Los Angeles where he thinks a lot about dogs, bourbon, and the Chicago Bears.

MARSEILLES, IL – The Incident Command Post (ICP) for Operation: Prairie Dog was a sight to behold. Like a sweet vintage car with a nasty new racing engine, the 1990’s Coachmen RV wrapped Team Rubicon’s high-speed operations crew in vivid beige and pure vinyl splendor.


In lieu of the flat screens, clean lines, and industrial interiors sported by most operations centers, the cramped Coachmen charmed TR volunteers with its yellow linoleum floors, faux-wood paneling, and flowering vines etched into its mirrored surfaces.


Although daytime temperatures in the RV soared past the 90-degree mark, the team didn’t miss a beat. They were determined to provide a rapid response to the extensive flooding that damaged or destroyed more than 200 homes in the small riverside community.


Quickly, they transformed the Coachmen into a fully-functioning ICP. Within 48 hours, they had mapped districts of need, completed 237 structure assessments, taken 116 work orders, and begun managing volunteers. Palantir’s live tracking system went hot, and the team prioritized jobs for support. Veterans flew and drove in from around the country, swarming toward the damage to do good. Spontaneous volunteers gathered, and the ops team managed them too.


By the time Day 6 dawned, nearly half the work orders had been completed. Flooded basements had been emptied and mucked out, damaged homes were gutted down to the studs, and personal effects had been recovered. One home at a time, with the help to Team Rubicon and a little rented Coachmen, the citizens of Marseilles, IL, were regaining normal.



By Lydia Davey, Operation: Prairie Dog volunteer and USMC veteran

Photos by Team Rubicon