TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A week after storms ripped through East Texas, downing trees and tearing homes apart, cleanup is still going on.
And a group of volunteers has been been trying to help those affected since day one. A group that once served their country, and want to continue serving now.
They arrived a few hours after the storm hit Kilgore last Thursday. At a moment’s notice, members of Team Rubicon go wherever help is needed.
“We’re a group of veterans who want to still serve. The commonality is that we want to help, we all have similar background in military and we jelled right away,” says marine corps veteran John Bunn of Huntington Texas.
Made up of military veterans and first responders, Team Rubicon came from all over Texas. Their mission is a simple one.
“We look primarily for those who may have a harder time helping themselves. They may or may not have insurance,” says army veteran Oscar Arauco.
Most have taken time off their regular jobs, taking no pay to come help out where it's needed.
"We get called out and we sign up and generally take FEMA training, so we know what we're doing out here," Oscar says.
In Kilgore as part of Operation: Black Gold, they bring a variety of skills. Programs and services are made possible by the support of individual donors, corporate partners, and the dedication of volunteers across the country.
“I want to continue to serve. I’m not finished. I’ve still got my health. I’m not finished. When you effect somebody’s life the way we do, it makes it worth it,” Bunn says.
Team Rubicon is a 90,000 strong, highly skilled veteran volunteer force that helps communities stabilize and recover after a devastating natural disasters.
Since its inception following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Team Rubicon has responded to more than 300 disasters, including hurricanes Harvey, Florence, and Michael.