11 November 2012

Team Rubicon: Bridge the Gap...

On Sunday morning, observing Veterans Day in the United States began with a few words from a leader from the American Red Cross at a local shelter near North Brunswick, NJ  USA.  We heard his words of recognition and what it felt like for him to return to our country after serving in Vietnam and being ridiculed and spit upon.  The veterans in the room were all gearing up for another day on the front lines of a new domestic battle with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Team Rubicon and it's growing presence of agile, selfless and highly skilled professionals have been working along side other national and international NGOs.  They are projecting a rapid and significant force on the ground, from New York to previously unrecognized communities such as Union Beach and Montoloking, NJ.

Operational Risk Management was practiced and observed as disaster first responders descended on the front lines of the Hurricane Sandy disaster area.  Highly equipped, veteran war fighters and first responders are deployed each day to tackle and mitigate substantial risks to homeowners, businesses and communities.  Working in concert with city, county, state and federal authorities to provide the most effective response results, where other NGOs stood by in amazement.

City officials, emergency management, law enforcement, community associations, religious organizations all working in coordination to provide their citizens and members what they needed, when they needed it and more.  The destruction and the aftermath of this disaster was significant and will be recognized as one of the most costly economic impacts to the nation.

Yet this is more about a mission by those who know they want to continue to "Bridge the Gap".   To serve beyond what they have already done in life.  To be hugged by perfect strangers for rescuing a loved one trapped in their home or assisting in the mitigation of operational risks to life and property in their neighborhood.  The mission is clear and each day a whole new example of a purpose driven life is explored and realized.

As our U.S. veterans and their families are returning to our cities and communities remember this.  1%.  They represent only 1 percent of our U.S. population and deserve our respect and continued devotion to their service.  They have been making a difference in uniform and will continue to do so if we leverage the leadership, knowledge, wisdom and courage they all possess:
Team Rubicon Saves Lives. 
Since its creation in January 2010, TR has impacted thousands of lives – in Haiti, Chile, Burma, Pakistan, Sudan, and here at home, in Vermont, Maryland, Missouri, and Alabama.  TR reaches victims outside the scope of where traditional aid organizations venture; victims on the fringe. 
Team Rubicon Engages Veterans. 
Hundreds of US military veterans, many returning home after fighting ten years of war, find a renewed sense of purpose for their skills and experiences through TR. 
Team Rubicon Sets Itself Apart In the Nonprofit World. 
Is it a disaster relief organization? A veteran-focused enterprise?  The truth is it’s both. TR pioneered a new paradigm in disaster response while redefining the meaning of veteran reintegration into society. 
Team Rubicon Pioneered the Concept of Veteran-Focused Disaster Response. 
On the streets of Port-au-Prince, in the immediate aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, TR’s military veterans realized a simple truth – natural disasters present many of the same problems that confront troops in Iraq and Afghanistan: unstable populations, limited resources, horrific sights, sounds and smells.  The skills cultivated on those same battlefields – emergency medicine, risk assessment and mitigation, teamwork and decisive leadership – are invaluable in disaster zones.
This Veterans Day remembrance will never be forgotten.  It has been an honor to serve along side so many dedicated professionals to continue to mitigate operational risks to our friends, family and loved ones.  Continue to "Bridge the Gap"!

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