I've had the pleasure of knowing some of you in real life. Some of you, I've only talked to you through a computer.
You might have learned, even just from the blog and Facebook posts, that I spent a few years of my life in the military. I gained valuable skills, learned life lessons, and became a very different person than who I was before the military. I went in as a young, dumb 18 year old who thought I knew everything. I came out the other side less young, less dumb, and with a very different outlook on life.
While I didn't deploy to hostile locations, I did a few things that many veterans did. I made friendships with a diverse group of people, who had seen all the same things I had. I became a drastically different person than I was. I understood what it meant to serve.
After a medical discharge following damage to two discs in my back, I was back in the civilian world. I was just a cog in the machine. I worked, I got paid, I did the things that many others did.
I didn't fully understand it, but there was part of me that wanted to do SOMETHING. I missed the military, and the friends I made in the military, but I knew that because of my back injury, I could never go back. Overall, I had a great life. I had a well paying job, a happy marriage, and 3 great kids. That urge, that desire, was still there.
I don't remember how I found it, but one day I found something to bridge that gap, that desire to do something. The "it" was Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon has roots that dumbfound me. Seeing the damage and destruction caused by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a small group decided that they needed to do something. There was death and destruction everywhere, but the big disaster relief organizations were unable to get into the places that needed help.
They got on planes, and flew in to Haiti. They had found their proverbial Rubicon, their point of no return. They crossed the river into Haiti, and never looked back. They were the "boots on the ground", helping people in places that were unreachable to those large organizations. They took the skills they learned in the military, and the drive to help, and made it happen. They "bridged the gap" between the initial disaster and when the large groups were able to help, they backed off.
When they came back to the states, they knew that this would not be a one time thing. They knew that the skills that veterans learned could be put to use helping when natural disasters struck at home. As nature took its toll on cities and towns across the US and the world, Team Rubicon responded. Groups of veterans teamed up with doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters and police.
What started as a couple of US Marines and some first responders, slowly grew. As more people learned of the goals and mission of Team Rubicon, they realized that this could bridge their own gap. They could help when their community was destroyed by a tornado, or a hurricane, or flooding, or an explosion. They could serve once more. They could be agents of change. They could be Team Rubicon.
I recognize that as a dad with a blog, I have some power. I have the power to spread the word about things that matter to me. I can be a Dad 4 Change. Founded by a couple of great guys, D4C is about sharing the charities that matter to us. While the community that Team Rubicon recruits to is small, being solely veterans and first responders, anyone can help. You can donate your time, or your money, and join the team. Do something that matters, or help those with the skills to help.