With the Veterans Day holiday weekend upon us, the nation pauses to honor all the men and women who have served—and who continue to serve—with such distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces.
In another admirable model of service to their fellow citizens, hundreds of military veterans from across the country are uniting to help storm victims in New York and New Jersey. This weekend, nine American veterans organizations are deploying teams to help rebuild neighborhoods in the disaster zone. "When our country needs us, veterans respond. And whether we are fighting overseas or serving alongside our neighbors here at home, the country knows that they can count on veterans." said Eric Grietens, Navy SEAL, Founder and CEO of The Mission Continues.
On October 29th, Hurricane-force winds from Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast, devastating coastal communities. A little more than a week later, a snow storm hitting the same area complicated and slowed debris removal and other recovery efforts. This weekend, less than two weeks since Sandy, the autumn weather pendulum is swinging into positive territory, with temperatures forecast for the upper 50s to mid 60s, making for ideal cleanup conditions.
Enter veteran-led disaster response group, Team Rubicon. The group is leading this volunteer effort to help in the process of rebuilding. Quite coincidentally, yet poignantly, this is all happening around a federal holiday, which many Americans mark as Day of Service. Organizers say military members make ideal disaster-relief volunteers because of their specialized skills and united desire to serve . "These men and women are uniquely qualified and motivated to step up and make a positive impact in our country," said Mike Erwin, Army Major, Founder and Executive Director of Team Red, White, & Blue. "Especially in times when fellow Americans are in need deep."
Today we salute these veterans for their perilous fight—in and out of uniform—may their allegiance serve as an example to us all.