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Team Rubicon needs your support for disaster operations in Wisconsin and Illinois

 

Team Rubicon was literally “born” out of the catastrophic earthquake that devastated the tiny island nation of Haiti January 12, 2010.  The 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed over 100,000 people in the already poor country with few resources and services.  After the quake, the citizens of Haiti needed everything; housing, food, water, and medical services.

Per their website, two Marine veterans, Jake Wood and William McNulty, knew they had skills that could help in Haiti.  Together, with six other veterans and first responders, they gathered funds and medical supplies and flew into the Dominican Republic; the more developed country on the eastern side of the island.

There, they rented a truck, loaded their gear, and headed west to Haiti.  The route is not easy under the best of circumstances, let alone under “disaster circumstances.”  But their efforts in Haiti were rewarded a thousand times over and no more so than with the formation of Team Rubicon, the veteran-based service organization that has become “second responders” to disasters around the world.

Today, hundreds of Team Rubicon volunteers are deploying right here in America to Illinois and Wisconsin to lend a hand to some 2,200 Americans who have been displaced due to severe summer storms and flooding.  The team is expecting to be on the ground for 45 days but have contingency plans to stay longer if needed.

Team Rubicon, an NGO,  stays operational with donations from private citizens and corporations around the United States. The estimated cost for “Operation Fox Yeah” the current mission in Wisconsin and Illinois is expected to be about $215, 000.

Read more about Team Rubicon, their history and their future  here.  Please “like” their Facebook page for up-to-date information on their latest deployments.  If you can, please donate here to help your neighbors to the North.  Every dollar keeps Team Rubicon’s boots on the ground, here in the U.S and in far-flung regions around the globe.

 

Two women now candidates for becoming Navy SEALs-Not your grandpa’s military

 

When the first women become Navy SEALs, the men who have washed out of the Navy’s elite training will likely feel the sting even worse.  And it could happen sooner than anyone thinks.   Currently, there are two women candidates who could actually become the first to train and pass some of the hardest military training in the world.

The Virginian-Pilot Online writes: 

One woman is in the pipeline to be a SEAL officer, and another is on the path to becoming a special warfare combatant crewman. The news was first reported by Military.com, an independent website. The Navy declined to identify the candidates, citing security considerations.

Additional information came out yesterday that could be relevant.

The Washington Post reported this yesterday:

A member of an elite special warfare unit in the Navy has come out as transgender. Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton said in an email Friday that the person is a Navy Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman. They often support Navy SEALs but also conduct their own missions. The unidentified person appears to be the first member of the Special Warfare Command to identify as transgender. Walton said only one such person has notified his or her chain of command of being transgender. The person came out in October.

Right now it is not known if the female trainee for the Special Combatant Crew is in fact the transgender woman mentioned in the Virginian-Pilot article.

The military opened all combat jobs to women in 2015.  Prior to that it was actually illegal, per military law, to have women on the front lines.   News sources in Virginia and Coronado will be following the progress of these candidates closely.  Should one or both pass all necessary requirements, it will indeed be history making.

One former member of SEAL Team Six, Kristin Beck, who transitioned following 20 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL, has written a book about her experience.

‘Home Again’- Summerville, South Carolina’s newest organization helps transition homeless

 

In the last ten years, the homeless epidemic has exploded and South Carolina has not been spared. While entities, both public and private, are working overtime to stem the tide of homelessness, one person in Summerville recognized a different need; the need to make life following shelter living feel more like home.

John Michael Stagliano, now 14, is the powerhouse behind “Home Again”, an organization which essentially consists of a young man with a big heart, a storage unit, and a whole lot of friends and family.

At age 12, Stagliano started preparing homemade meals, once a week, for the residents of the local men’s shelter.  The men quickly became more than faces of the homeless, they became his friends.  Stagliano wanted to help his new friends make a successful life after they met their markers for independent living and ultimately moved out of the shelter.

But starting over isn’t as easy.  Overcoming addictions, poverty, and run-ins with the law are just a few of the obstacles. People leaving shelter life have poor credit histories, most can’t pass the background check required by apartment communities, and they have few worldly possessions.

Stagliano knew that while he couldn’t solve most of those issues, there was one that he could; helping men get furniture and basic household items to make day-to-day living, after leaving the shelter, something more than just a roof over their heads.  “Home Again” was born.  And while the name is recently official, Stagliano and his friends and his family have been working for over a year assisting men leaving the local Home of Hope men’s shelter.

This week marks a new beginning, not only for the new nonprofit, but for one female military veteran and her two teenagers.  Tomorrow they leave a Charleston-area shelter and get keys to a three-bedroom rental.  “Home Again” has a moving truck ready to deliver more than tables and chairs, beds and desks.  With the donated furnishings comes a promise of not only a new life, but a home filled with the love and support of the local community…thanks to the vision of a young man and his generous heart.

Those wishing to donate furniture and other household items can reach John Michael via his new “Home Again” Facebook page. 

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