After months or even years fighting overseas, 92% of American veterans say they want to continue their service; meanwhile, one after another, natural disasters continue to wreak havoc worldwide.
In this moving talk, Team Rubicon co-founder and president Jake Wood answers the question, “What do these two challenges have in common?” He believes that, “veterans can effectively contribute to disaster relief responses—and in the process, regain purpose, community and self-worth.”
Jake Wood was in the Marine Corps for four years, he deployed to Iraq in 2007 and then to Afghanistan in 2008. After returning to the US he became an advocate for veterans’ rights and in 2010, teamed with another former Marine William McNulty to found Team Rubicon in response to the earthquake in Haiti.
Team Rubicon brings together the expertise of military veterans and medical professionals to bring immediate emergency relief to areas of the world suffering from humanitarian disasters. Since the organization was founded, Wood and his team have participated in seven other campaigns around the world — including South Sudan, Burma and Pakistan — and six in the U.S., most recently in New York City during Hurricane Sandy.
You send [veterans] to Joplin after a tornado, and somebody once again is walking up to [them] and shaking their hand and thanking them for their service … [Disaster response] can give that purpose and that community and that self-worth back to the veteran.