By: Rebecca Alwineteam-rubicon

Disasters are our business. Veterans are our passion.

In January of 2010, two Marines, six veterans, and first responders flew to the Dominican Republic armed with money and medical supplies. They rented a truck and headed to Haiti, where they immediately began providing aid to the people of Haiti. They treated thousands, focusing on those who would be overlooked.

Just like that, Team Rubicon was born. The name and history are unique, just like the people who make up the team. The military runs deep in Team Rubicon, emphasizing small, cohesive units. The focus is to provide disaster relief by pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions.

Team Rubicon, led by Marines Jake Wood and William McNulty, sought to provide veterans with the three main things they lost by transitioning from the military. Veterans don’t often know they will miss these things, but when given the opportunity to get them back, they realize how much they depend on them. Team Rubicon gives veterans a purpose, community, and self-worth, all components that aid in the shift to civilian life.

Tenacity, accountability, impartiality, innovation, and collaboration are the service principles of the operational activity of Team Rubicon. To help people on their worst days is the main idea.

Training is a huge part of the organization; similar to that of the military, being prepared for a disaster means putting in the hours ahead of time. Service projects are a great training tool. They are available for volunteer service in all areas and in a variety of sizes. Often, the preparation involves completing training exercises and partnering with the local American Legion or Veterans of Foreign War. Team Rubicon has helped veterans paint their houses, remove large debris, and work on flood recovery.

There are several ways veterans, active duty military, family members, and everyone can join Team Rubicon:

  • Be a “Giver” by donating equipment or money to help the volunteers,
  • Get “Down-N-Dirty” by helping fundraise and get the word out,
  • For those with a specialized skill set, volunteer positions are available on one of the regional teams.

Blogger and Chainsaw Instructor for Team Rubicon Abbey Dieteman helps put the organization’s mission into perspective. She said, “I get to work alongside (one) of the most giving, hardworking, amazing people in the world. I experience the intense emotions: the highs from a job well done and the lows of both disaster victims and veterans and their different but equally difficult experiences. I get the rare opportunity to understand, or attempt to understand, people very different than myself—but with that same love of service, that same addiction to muddy boots, sawdust hair, and Red Cross cots.”

For more information on the organization and how you can get involved, visit their website at Team Rubicon.