Showing posts with label Team Rubicon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Team Rubicon. Show all posts

Monday, June 11, 2018

Jake Wood, Team RUBICON Founder to be honored

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.
read more here

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ex-POW Vietnam veteran gets teams of angels

He has 2 Purple Hearts but couldn't afford home repairs. Then help arrived - for free.
Idaho Statesman
Michael Katz
June 9, 2018

Sitting in a chair in his family room, cane in one hand and his other arm crossed over his midsection, Charlie Moore is an unassuming hero. He can share a war story or two, but he can just as easily talk about growing up on a farm in Wisconsin.

On a humid June evening, Moore, 75, is wearing an Army hat and American flag-clad T-shirt. For more than 40 years, he has been a disabled veteran, after an accident in Vietnam left him unable to work. He wears his Army garb proudly.
read more here

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Fueled the Water But Compassion is Fueling Hope

Compassion Takes Center Stage in Texas
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 28, 2017

What if everyday was like America's Got Talent, but instead of talent, it was about compassion? Instead of talent, you were competing with your gifts. Instead of going onto a stage, you were being watched and judged for how you used the gifts you had. Would you want to enter this contest?

I was thinking about this before work today. Since I get up around 4:00 am, it is pretty quiet with few distractions. I was checking in on how things are going in Texas when I was reading about, probably hundreds of strangers, showing up to help other strangers with whatever they had to give.

They were not trying to get on camera or get publicity. We'll probably never know the names of most of the rescuers, just like we will never know the names of the heroes doing it on a daily basis. Each one of them left their own families, their homes and put their lives on the line so they could make a difference.

Now that is compassion fueling courage! So many times we see things like this and then wonder how regular people got there? What is it inside of them that compelled them to do such a thing? When we see people getting paid to do the dangerous jobs, we don't seem too interested in wondering at all. Why is that?

There is a group that has been using their gifts abundantly. They did it in the military and then they have been doing it as civilians. TEAM RUBICON is heading into Texas. They made the announcement on Twitter

"I knew to expect devastation and hard work. What I didn’t expect was the incredible team made up of veterans and civilians ready to meet the challenges of the day. We know exactly where we’re headed and confident we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by disasters. In a single day, we’ve managed to become brothers and sisters." Lissie Hagerman USAF Veteran

Obviously they'd get my vote for compassion in action category. So would a lot of other people expecting nothing to come back to them other than the sense of having done something with their lives at the end of the day.

The thing is, when you are a giver, accustomed to using your gifts, and have nothing to do, it actually wears on your soul more than the exhaustion of giving what you could in the first place. Not being used, makes you feel as if you are not needed and then that is when everything you did in the past comes back with the worst you faced instead of how doing the best you could do filled your soul.

So, how about when you are considering how to help the people in Texas, you consider helping TEAM RUBICON help others as well as helping them help each other use the gifts they have to give?

Home Depot Foundation Commits $1 Million to Help Texas Recover

Remember our friends with the Home Depot Foundation showing up to help veterans? Well they're at it again! This time they are responding to Texas after Harvey hit them hard.

The Home Depot Foundation Commits $1 Million to Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Efforts

ATLANTAAug. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Home Depot® Foundation today announced its commitment of $1 million to support Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana.
Funds will be distributed to several nonprofit partners including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing and Team Rubicon to support both short-term relief and rebuilding needs.
"Our hearts and full support go out to our communities, customers and associates that are being impacted by Hurricane Harvey," said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. "The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot volunteers will work alongside our disaster relief partners to assist the people and areas impacted by this catastrophic storm."
In addition to helping the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Foundation's employee assistance program, The Homer Fund, will provide emergency financial assistance to associates who have been affected by this tragedy.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Team Rubicon Picking Up Community in Texas After Tornado

Veteran-led Team Rubicon aids in tornado recovery efforts in Glenn Heights
Dallas Morning News
Loyd Brumfield
January 13, 2016

GLENN HEIGHTS — J.J. Selvig found life after the military as a part of Team Rubicon. Sarah McCord found her purpose.
Tom Fox/Staff Photographer
Team Rubicon volunteer Molly Gayden of Fort Worth
hauls a piece of garage door to the curb as they clean up the
tornado ravaged home on Mesa Wood Drive in Glenn Heights.
Selvig, a 30-year-old Marine Corps veteran from Fort Worth, did two tours of duty in Iraq and came home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He signed on with Team Rubicon, a nonprofit formed by veterans and first responders to assist in disaster relief domestically and around the world.

“Until I deployed to help with Hurricane Sandy, I had basically spent about a year-long bender in a bar,” Selvig said. “Something I found during Sandy was, with each way I could help, I was able to piece myself back together.”

Selvig and about 40 others are part of Team Rubicon’s tornado relief effort in Glenn Heights. City leaders say they have been instrumental. They form at 7 a.m. each day at Home Depot in Lancaster before fanning out to clean up and repair damaged neighborhoods. Members from all over the country will be in town over the next several weeks cleaning up hard-hit spots.
read more here

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Team Rubicon Veteran Subject of New Book

'Charlie Mike' explores plight of veterans
Ray Locker
November 8, 2015

Few writers have captured the grief and suffering of combat veterans making the transition from war to home better than journalist Joe Klein. His 1984 book, Payback, traced the lives of five Marines as they struggled to adapt after Vietnam. Now, with Charlie Mike, he follows the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan as they fight through guilt, injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Much has changed between Vietnam and America's two latest wars. Veterans now have behind them the bulk of public opinion, which Vietnam vets could not count on. But the percentage of Americans who join the military is much smaller than before, leaving fewer people to relate to the demands of service.

Much of the veteran's lot remains the same, however. None can forget the searing experiences of war, of seeing their friends die horribly or suffer grievous wounds. They often live in constant agony, their memories flashing back a stream of horrors that sleep can't soothe.

In Charlie Mike, a term that means "continue the mission," Klein's main focus is two veterans whose seem to represent the best American has to offer. Jake Wood, a former offensive lineman at the University of Wisconsin, is a huge, strapping specimen of American manhood — tall, muscular and intelligent. Eric Greitens, an Oxford-educated Navy SEAL and intelligence officer, had the smarts and charisma that made him a natural leader.

Wood led a sniper team in Afghanistan, while Greitens returned to Iraq as an intelligence officer after his SEAL service. Both served honorably; both saw war steal their friends.

Klein shows how their service changed them but also propelled them to serve others once their military service ended. For Wood, it meant joining up with Marine buddies and heading to Haiti shortly after the January 2010 earthquake that flattened much of the country. Their freelance aid mission would eventually become Team Rubicon, Wood's group of veterans that acted as a team of early responders to some of the world's toughest disasters.
read more here

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Vandals Destroy Fallen Soldier's Home, Team Rubicon Restores Honor

Gold Star Mom's Mission to Remodel Vandalized Home
By: Katie Pelton
Jun 12, 2015
Now several groups and volunteers are stepping up to give back, including Team Rubicon, a non-profit that responds to disasters.

A Gold Star Mom who lost her son in Iraq is furious about what vandals did to his home. Now she's on a mission to fix it.

Vandals have repeatedly broken into the Fountain home over the last six years since he was killed. But soon the house will feel like a home again, thanks to one mother's love and determination.

Last time Becky Johnson was in the home was in 2008.

"When he left on his last deployment," said Johnson. "I flew out here to see him off."

That's when her son, SSgt. Gary Lee Woods Jr. was last deployed. The 24 year-old was killed by a suicide bomber in April 2009 in Iraq.

Becky is a Gold Star Mother, which is an organization for mothers who lost a son or daughter in service. She and her husband, Pat live in Indiana. They both came down to clean up the house.

"My goal is to get this house back into the shape that it was before he left when he lived here," said Johnson.

Spray paint litters the walls after vandals broke in over the past couple years and destroyed the home.

"They shouldn't have came in here and did this to his house," said Johnson. "He deserved better than that."
read more here

Friday, March 27, 2015

TEAM RUBICON Run to End Veteran Suicides

Memorial run on Saturday to raise veteran suicide awareness
By Rob Hughes
Mar 27, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY —A 5K memorial run to raise veteran suicide awareness will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Earlywine Park in Oklahoma City.

Team Rubicon, Team Red, White and Blue and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have partnered to lead the fourth annual "Suicide and Prevention and Awareness Run as One."

The event is in honor and memory of Clay Hunt, a Marine Corps veteran who lost his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2011. The nationwide event also raises awareness of PTSD.
read more here

Team Rubicon mourns the loss of a veteran, volunteer, and brother. Neil Landsberg, a former Combat Controller in the United States Air Force, was an active Region 3 team member. As an Air Force Special Operator, Neil completed multiple overseas combat deployments. When he took off the uniform he volunteered at Walter Reed and served as a role model for many TR volunteers around the Washington, DC area. Neil is remembered by his teammates and fellow volunteers as a “total stud”.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TEAM Rubicon Vietnam Veteran Still Serving Others

Team Rubicon: Veterans help flood victims
Veterans who served their country, now serve their communities
4 News Detroit
Author: Lauren Podell
Local 4 Reporter
Published On: Aug 20 2014

They served in the military at different times.

“I am actually still serving, I am an Army reservist,” said Eric Burghardt of Kalamazoo.

They served at different places.

“I’m a Vietnam veteran, so I am considered one of the older guys in the group,” said Bob Pries of Farmington Hills.

Meet Team Rubicon.

When disasters strike anywhere across the country, this veterans group helps with the clean up. That’s exactly what the cities of Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Southfield did after last week’s flooding left so many homeowners helpless.

“We like to say disasters are our business but Veterans are our passion,” said Pries, Team Rubicon’s incident commander.
read more here

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The True Cost of Blind Patriotism: Despair and Veteran Suicide

Team Rubicon veterans are heroes showing up after disasters to help survivors. They also lost two members to suicide.
Marine Clay Hunt another after combat casualty
April 2011
Marine Clay Hunt became another after combat casualty when he took his own life. By all accounts, Hunt did everything experts say he needed to do. He went to the VA and got help. He talked about having PTSD openly, meaning the stigma induced silence was not a factor. Hunt went even beyond that and got involved trying to save the lives of others with PTSD. Even with all of this including an informed, supportive family, Hunt lost his battle after battle.
And Neil Landsberg.
From Facebook
May 2013
Team Rubicon mourns the loss of a veteran, volunteer, and brother. Neil Landsberg, a former Combat Controller in the United States Air Force, was an active Region 3 team member. As an Air Force Special Operator, Neil completed multiple overseas combat deployments. When he took off the uniform he volunteered at Walter Reed and served as a role model for many TR volunteers around the Washington, DC area. Neil is remembered by his teammates and fellow volunteers as a “total stud”.

This is why it makes it all the more difficult to announce that Neil took his own life last week. He leaves behind many friends at Team Rubicon who will carry on his name and spirit through service.

One of the founding members of Team Rubicon wrote an article in the Huffington Post that caused me to leave this comment.
"No amount of counseling can dispel the gnawing sense that one sacrificed for a bogus cause." but that is not why they are willing to risk their lives. In the end, they all do it for each other. Most wars were started for "bogus" reasons but the government risking lives is not the same as the young men and women risking their lives for someone else.

The worst thing the military did was push the CSF training causing most of the damage.

Suicides went up after they started to "address" suicides and PTSD. The results are more military suicides-less troops and more veterans doing the same.

The military breaks them physically and emotionally so they can do what they have to do but then fail at putting them back together to live better lives afterwards. The reasons why wars are started are one thing but the reasons they serve are another.
The True Cost of Blind Patriotism: Despair and Veteran Suicide
Huffington Post
William McNulty
Co-founder Team Rubicon
January 13, 2014

Why does a veteran take his life every 65 minutes?

Some veterans have always suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though it has not always had that name. Today, PTSD is better understood and treated than it has ever been. Why, then, is suicide so much more prevalent in young men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan when compared with the general population?

One of the most characteristic and debilitating symptoms of PTSD is depression. But there is a qualitative difference between traumatic-stress-induced depression and existential despair. Despair is the fundamental lack of hope and complete inability to see meaning in life. I believe depression is not the distinguishing characteristic of those vets who kill themselves -- there are many depressed people who are not suicidal -- it is despair.

Why are those who have served in America's last two wars so afflicted with this crippling malady?

Veterans of many previous wars suffered the lasting after effects of being embroiled in bloody, terrifying combat. But too many of the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are mired in a despair that is rooted in the amorphous nature of these conflicts. A fog has clouded everything about these wars; from their start to their inconclusive endings.

Much effort used to be expended trying to explain that fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan would ensure the freedom of future generations of Americans. That was a tenuous proposition when it was first advanced. It seems so utterly implausible now that no one is even trying to defend it. Where does that leave the young man who went through hell in Iraq in the name of liberty for future Americans? What does that say to the young woman who believed her sacrifice in Afghanistan would have an enduring legacy?

No amount of counseling can dispel the gnawing sense that one sacrificed for a bogus cause. From this stems despair -- from a sense that so much of one's life was given for so little purpose. Today's vets do not see themselves as saviors, they cannot identify whom they defeated, they are not certain that they truly liberated anyone, and they fought, at best, a holding action against an ill-defined threat. Progress has been absent.
read more here

Joe Klein of TIME Swampland wrote this

"And he is pissed off, because none of it needed to happen. The rest of us should keep this in the very front of our brains as assorted ‘patriots’–who aren’t really patriots, just ill-informed military zealots–would have us go back into Iraq, or into Syria, or would try to replace the promising nuclear talks with Iran with an unprovoked act of aggression. The rest of us should make it our number one priority as citizens: to stop those who would needlessly shove us toward war."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Team Rubicon Nation

Happy Thanksgiving, TR Nation!
November has been a busy month for us; our volunteers have been mucking out flooded homes in Austin, TX, providing medical relief to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and helping homeowners rebuild after the tornado in Washington, IL.

Whether we're sharing a Thanksgiving turkey with friends and family from the comfort of our home or splitting a pack of Turkey jerky and a cornbread MRE with our fellow volunteers in Illinois or the Philippines, we're incredibly thankful for your support.

Because of you, we've deployed volunteers on over fifty operations around the world and here at home. Over 13,000 veterans, first responders, and medical professionals have joined TR to answer the call of continued service.

Thank you, and from our family to yours,
Happy Thanksgiving!

- The Team

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

TEAM Rubicon Operation Seabird Responds to Philippines after super typhoon

A lot of people ask me where is a good place to donate to. One of the top ones on my list is TEAM RUBICON so if you want to help veterans and want to help the people suffering after the typhoon, donate to them. They are already there!

We’re Launching Operation: Seabird
We’re going up against one of the largest storms ever recorded – Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines Friday with massive force. Tomorrow, a team of 15 specially qualified TR volunteers from across the country along with three members from Making Change, a veterans-based relief organization in Norway, will board flights to Manila.

The primary objectives of Operation: Seabird are facilitating search and rescue efforts and providing medical triage for a full-scale field hospital in Tacloban. The field hospital can handle up to 100 patients at a time and will be managed by Mammoth Medical Missions, who’s standing up a surgical team of 17.

We’re in the process of outfitting volunteers with PPE and preparing packs so they remain self-sufficient for several days after arrival. The team will also be transporting medical response kits supplied by Direct Relief. We’ll continue to assemble intel gathered over the last 48 hours and adjust our strategy based on conditions reported from the ground.

This is TR’s first international mission since deploying to Burma to provide medical aid for ethnic Karen refugees in October 2012. Volunteers for Operation: Seabird were vetted and hand-selected based on a number of criteria, including medical and search & rescue certifications, past TR deployment history, and availability. We ask others to consider supporting our response and keep the people of the Philippine Islands in your thoughts as the death toll is feared to be very high.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Retired General David Petraeus joins TEAM RUBICON

Retired General David Petraeus joins TEAM RUBICON
TR Nation

Almost one month ago, an EF-5 tornado hit the city of Moore, OK, leaving catastrophic damage in its wake. As Moore picked itself up from the rubble, a tremendous outpouring of support came in from across the country.

Team Rubicon was on the ground the very next day, and as we built out the framework for the long-term recovery efforts, we saw what kind of impact TR Nation would have on Operation: Starting Gun.

Four weeks later, we've collected 2,374 damage assessments, completed over 250 work orders on damaged structures, and deployed over 300 veteran volunteers from all ten regions. Because of your support, we estimate TR has saved the community roughly $1.1 million in demolition and debris removal costs.

And today, we're pleased to announce that Team Rubicon is adding General David Petraeus USA (Ret.) to our Board of Advisors. Between his time in uniform and as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General Petraeus served our Nation for over 38 years. By joining our Board of Advisors, General Petraeus is making good on his promise to help our veterans continue their service and ease the transition from military to civilian life. His ability to develop and implement radical strategies will serve Team Rubicon greatly as we attempt to revolutionize disaster response and veteran reintegration.

There is still a lot of work to be done in Moore. Your continued support will put more volunteers on the ground and provide us the equipment needed to help Moore rebuild. Can you help?

We couldn't do this without you.

The Team

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Looking past monuments, parades for vets' next steps

Looking past monuments, parades for vets' next steps
By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes
Published: June 12, 2013

What's the biggest divide between veterans and the civilian world? Use our Google Form to tell us your story and you might end up in a future Stars and Stripes article.

WASHINGTON — Instead of thanking veterans, Blake Bourne wants Americans to ask them to do more.

“No matter where I go, when people hear I’m a veteran they immediately say, ‘Thank you for what you did,’” the 31-year-old Army veteran said. “But we’ve almost gone too far with that.

“It feels like most people want to tell you that you did enough work, and now it’s time to relax and take a knee.”

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were the first prolonged conflicts to be fought by America’s all-volunteer military, and many troops are returning looking for more opportunities to volunteer.

For Bourne, that meant joining Mission Continues, whose stated goal is to help veterans reintegrate into civilian society through continued service. He’s almost six months into a fellowship with the group, receiving a small stipend to spend his time coordinating community volunteers in Charlotte, N.C.

“You can have 5,000 people come out and applaud a group of veterans, and that’s great, but what does it really do?” he said. “I think I’d rather see that same group go out and plant trees, maybe help just a small group in the community, but really engage and show what they can do.”

The idea of second service among returning troops has led to a rise in recent years of a new breed of veterans groups, ones that avoid lobbying and public affairs in favor of direct community interaction.

“This is a generation of volunteer servicemembers,” said Spencer Kympton, director with Mission Continues. “Many of them don’t feel like they need to be given anything. What they need is a new mission.”

Officials at Team Rubicon, a disaster response charity of veterans volunteers, has a stated goal of giving returning troops “a renewed sense of purpose” through emergency response work suited to their military skills. Team Red, White and Blue, which runs sporting events for veterans and civilians, sees physical activity as an common experience and easy entry point for military reintegration efforts.
read more here

Monday, May 27, 2013

How Team Rubicon honors Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, we pause to remember what this day signifies: a time to commemorate those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country and those veterans lost here at home.

Amidst door-buster sales for flat-screen TVs and backyard barbecues, it is too easy to forget the true importance of this holiday. For many of the volunteers of Team Rubicon however, we spend this final Monday in May the same way we did two years ago in Joplin: serving a population in their time of need.

With nearly one hundred volunteers deployed to Moore, OK, we are honoring our fallen brothers and sisters through continued service. And it is through your generous support that we are able to do so.

May 27, 2013
On Memorial Day, we pause to remember what this day signifies: a time to commemorate those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country and those veterans lost here at home. This year the volunteers of Team Rubicon choose to honor their fallen brothers and sisters by serving the people of Moore, OK in their time of need.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Team Rubicon heading to Oklahoma

Operation Starting Gun

On May 20th, a EF-4 Category tornado touched down outside of Oklahoma City, destroying thousands of homes and businesses and affecting tens of thousands of lives. At times, this tornado stretched as wide as three miles across, decimating the town of Moore, OK. And more severe weather is expected.

We are launching a massive operation to help those affected, and we need your help.

Similar to our response to Superstorm Sandy, TR will activate volunteers from across the country to deploy to Oklahoma. Strike teams will work in the community, going home to home, providing damage assessments and expedient home repair.

I just became part of their fundraising team. Please help them on this important mission.

Wounded Times Team Rubicon

Let them know readers of Wounded Times Supports their work as well as these veterans.

Our Shared Mission…to End Suicide

Our Shared Mission…to End Suicide
By Barbara Van Dahlen
May 21, 2013

I didn’t know Neil Landsberg.

But I know many of the fine veterans who work for and volunteer with the organization that Neil clearly loved, Team Rubicon.

Neil was 34 years old when he took his life May 9.

By all accounts he was a fine man who had served our country with distinction as a captain in Air Force Special Operations. Neil received the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. According to posted information about his life, Neil completed multiple overseas combat deployments while with the Air Force, and after he came home he continued to serve his community. In addition to his work with Team Rubicon, Neil volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and at Walter Reed.

I didn’t know retired Army colonel Grant Zachary either.

But I do know and respect his wife, Brigadier General Marianne Watson, who serves with the Army National Guard.

Grant was 54 years old when he took his life—also on May 9. The pictures posted online with his obituary tell the story of a loving father, husband, and family man. Grant served our country for 20 years with the Minnesota Army National Guard as a UH-1 Huey helicopter pilot, Flight Facility Commander at Holman Field, and State Aviation Officer in St. Paul.
read more here

Marine Clay Hunt's family fighting to keep others alive

Another member of Team Rubicon lost battle to suicide

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Marine Clay Hunt's family fighting to keep others alive

There are over a dozen reports on Clay Hunt on Wounded Times. The saddest thing is there is another member of Team Rubicon who committed suicide this week, Neil Landsberg.
PTSD. War on Suicides
FOX Houston
Posted: May 17, 2013
By John Donnelly, Reporter

Marine Sniper Clay Hunt was one of the finest warriors and human beings this country had to offer. After leaving the Marines he joined a group called Team Rubicon that travels to places like Haiti on humanitarian missions. His experiences in Iraq were never far behind.

He lost his battle with PTSD in 2011.

Former Marine Eusebio Collazo also swerved in Iraq and was wounded. He knows personally about the war warriors fight long after the battle has ended.

"PTSD is not something that should be taken lightly." he says.

Clay's parents sat down with Fox 26 shortly after his death.. and made this appeal to other vets.

"If anything good comes out the death of our son is that they might see this. They may talk to somebody to seek out help because there are other groups out there in addition to the VA and they are all heroes." says Stacy Hunt

Collazo has joined the veterans organization called Team Red, White and Blue. Saturday morning the group is joining forces with team Rubicon.. Clay's former group.. They will hold a run in Memorial Park to honor Clay... The Houston chapter has over three hundred members. While it's mainly for veterans, it's open to everybody.

"What we offer is a way to get connected with the community through social activities and athletic events." says Robert Mason.
read more here

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another member of Team Rubicon lost battle to suicide

Another member of Team Rubicon lost battle to suicide
Team Rubicon

From Facebook

Team Rubicon mourns the loss of a veteran, volunteer, and brother. Neil Landsberg, a former Combat Controller in the United States Air Force, was an active Region 3 team member. As an Air Force Special Operator, Neil completed multiple overseas combat deployments. When he took off the uniform he volunteered at Walter Reed and served as a role model for many TR volunteers around the Washington, DC area. Neil is remembered by his teammates and fellow volunteers as a “total stud”.

This is why it makes it all the more difficult to announce that Neil took his own life last week. He leaves behind many friends at Team Rubicon who will carry on his name and spirit through service.

I left this comment

Wounded Times I just wish all of you could understand that what you did in the name of someone else shows just how "good" you are. It is that goodness that also opens the door to feel pain more deeply. Look at how much you do for others to help, not harm and that comes from caring. Evil people do not care. YOU ARE NOT EVIL but you are in pain. You can heal and then go on to help others but you have to be stronger first. The right help will get you there and then you can do wondrous things.

I can't tell you how many times I heard a veteran tell me they think they are evil because of what they had to do and go through. Evil people do not grieve. Evil people are selfish and do not think of others. These men and women join the service to help not harm. They are ready to risk their lives to save someone else. How can any of that be evil? They do have to face bad things and sometimes they do have to kill to do it but if the enemy they were sent to fight just put down their weapons, they would be the happiest people on earth. They do not want to kill but they are prepared to do it.

They can heal once they get the right help but from every sad outcome like the death of Neal it is clear what these young men and women are getting is far from what they need.

I always ask the veterans I work with what they want to do in the next part of their lives. They say they want to help others. What does that tell you?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jake Wood and Team Rubicon visit to White House

The Changing Face of Veteran Reintegration
White House Blog
Posted by Jake Wood and William McNulty
March 06, 2013

President Barack Obama greets members of the Team Rubicon disaster relief organization in the Oval Office, Feb. 8, 2013. Participants include: Danielle Harrington, volunteer; James "JC" McGreehan, Mission Leader; William McNulty, Vice President and co-founder; Daniel Nidess, Director of Personnel; Matt Pelak, Director of Strategic Partnerships; Andrew Stevens, Director of Programs; Maria Lourdes Tiglao, Regional Director of Recruitment; and Jacob Wood, President and co-founder. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Post World War II, military veterans returned home to a community of veterans and a grateful nation that had shared in the sacrifice of war. These veterans used the brick and mortar posts of the American Legion and the VFW to maintain that esprit-de-corps. They mentored youth, advocated on veterans issues, shared war stories, and confided in each other over beers.

For generations, when veterans took off their uniform, their desire to serve did not end. That’s just as true today. Some very creative post 9/ll veterans’ charities have adapted to this desire and have created models for continued service and engagement. The Mission Continues provides fellowships for returning veterans to continue their service in the public sector. Ride 2 Recovery and Team RWB use the therapeutic effect of physical training to repair the physical and mental wounds of war. Our organization, Team Rubicon, uses continued service through disaster response as a means to maintain purpose, community, and a sense-of-self. Our work is inspired by our late friend Clay Hunt, who took his own life after leaving the service.

It’s a national emergency that everyday 22 military veterans commit suicide. Also concerning is the increasing magnitude and frequency of natural disasters. Over the last five years, there have been 350 federally declared disasters in the United States. A Civic Enterprises report found that 92 percent of veterans want to continue their service when they return home. The top two responses were helping their fellow veterans and disaster response. Team Rubicon provided that opportunity to over 350 veterans during our response to Hurricane Sandy.

On Friday, February 8th, we had the honor and privilege to meet President Obama and some of his advisors in the Oval Office. We discussed our response to Hurricane Sandy, our model of continued service, and how we think we can stem the tide of veteran suicide.

During the conversation, the President said he didn’t just want to just talk; he wanted to support Team Rubicon. He wanted to find ways to work together to enhance coordination following natural disasters. We thank the President for validating our approach to veteran reintegration and disaster response. We look forward to working together to improve these two critical issues.

Jake Wood and William McNulty are the Cofounders of Team Rubicon