Team Rubicon Honors Memorial Day Through Continued Service

Holiday weekend takes back seat to disaster response for vet-led group.

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Army veteran Kevin Pannell is among Team Rubicon volunteers helping with tornado response in Arkansas. Photo by Kirk Jackson.

Memorial Day is about remembering the ultimate sacrifices made by others. I can’t think of a better way to honor and carry forward their spirit than by continued service at home.

Los Angeles (PRWEB) May 22, 2014

While many Americans are making Memorial Day plans for the beach, barbeques or parades, dozens of Team Rubicon volunteers will continue tornado clean-up efforts in Arkansas and Nebraska.

For the members of the veteran-led disaster relief organization, there’s no other place they’d rather be—even though many missed last year’s holiday responding to tornadoes in Oklahoma.

“Memorial Day is about remembering the ultimate sacrifices made by others,” said Chad Reynolds, a veteran of the Army and Navy. “I can’t think of a better way to honor and carry forward their spirit than by continued service at home.”

A resident of Conway, Ark., Reynolds has led Team Rubicon’s efforts, dubbed Operation: Rising Eagle, since an EF-4 tornado devastated communities like Vilonia and Mayflower, April 27. There, the nonprofit is managing volunteers, clearing and removing debris, and making expedient home repairs.

“It’s been nearly a month, but there is still a lot of work to do,” said Reynolds. “We’re hopeful that others will follow our lead and join us this weekend to help residents on their paths to recovery.”

Similar efforts are underway with Operation: Steam Wagon in Beaver Crossing, Neb., which was struck by an EF-3 on Mother’s Day. Nearly 400 Team Rubicon volunteers have answered the call for these, and other recent storms in Kansas, Michigan, and Mississippi.

Beyond current operations, members will take part in service projects and events across the country to honor those who have died in uniform.

The organization’s services are provided at no cost to homeowners—making a measurable difference in affected communities. For example, Team Rubicon saved homeowners in Oklahoma an estimated $3.7 million in recovery costs through debris removal and home repairs, following last year’s tornadoes.

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Beyond disaster relief, Team Rubicon helps veterans find a renewed sense of purpose—vital as many return to civilian life after more than a decade of war.

The nonprofit was founded in the wake of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake by Jake Wood and William McNulty, both Marine veterans. It has grown from eight to 16,000 members with nearly 60 operations under its belt, including Haiti, Superstorm Sandy, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Team Rubicon is being helped in its response by several partners, including Southwest Airlines and Airlink with flights; Home Depot Foundation and ToolBank Disaster Services with tools and supplies.

Team Rubicon is accepting financial contributions for its efforts. To learn more about Team Rubicon’s mission, or to become a supporter, visit http://www.teamrubiconusa.org.

Team Rubicon can also accept bitcoin donations at http://www.bitcoin.teamrubiconusa.org.

About Team Rubicon: Team Rubicon (TR) unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. TR offers veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. For more about Team Rubicon, visit http://www.teamrubiconusa.org.