U.S. Marines Sgt. Jake Wood, Co-Founder and CEO of Team Rubicon, to Receive Pat Tillman Award for Service at The 2018 ESPYS on July 18 on ABC
By Tara Chozet
Posted on June 11, 2018
Jake Wood was a freshman offensive lineman with the Wisconsin Badgers when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001. Inspired by the first responders who risked their lives while trying to help others, and by former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman’s selfless sacrifice, Wood joined the United States Marine Corps. He was eventually promoted to Sergeant and served four years in Iraq and Afghanistan, deployed as a Scout Sniper.
Wood earned the Navy-Marine Commendation Medal during his time of service, and since being honorably discharged from the Marines in 2009, Wood has committed to advocating for veterans in the United States. He has actively lobbied Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama on veteran transition and disaster response and has testified before a Senate committee on improving mental health services for veterans. For his dedication to serving others, Wood, the co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon, will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service sponsored by Bonobos when The 2018 ESPYS presented by Capital One air live Wednesday, July 18, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Upon returning to civilian life, Wood saw the difficulties some veterans struggled with upon leaving active duty. But on January 10, 2010, Wood found a way to help veterans and also assist those in greatest need. On that day, disaster struck Haiti in the form of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. When he saw the devastation left in the wake of the tremor, Wood and fellow Marine William McNulty galvanized a group of veterans, first responders and medical workers and headed to the island nation with supplies in tow. This marked the beginning of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transitioning veterans from military service to disaster response and relief. Team Rubicon leverages veterans’ existing skill sets to rapidly deploy emergency response teams while providing veterans with a sense of purpose, community and identity.
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