Boise veteran to join Houston volunteer force in Hurricane Harvey aftermath

Team Rubicon is an organization of mostly veterans
Posted at 9:46 PM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 00:07:46-04

Boise veteran Brandon Stoddard may no longer be an active duty military member, but he's not done serving his country.

Stoddard is packed up and ready to jump on a flight to Houston to help those hit hardest in the path of Hurricane Harvey.

Stoddard is a volunteer with Team Rubicon, an international organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.

While Team Rubicon leaps to assist in major disaster relief efforts like Hurricane Harvey or western wildfires, they also pitched in locally this past winter, helping clear snow from Boise roofs and sand bag clean up this spring.

137 volunteers with the group are already on the ground in Houston, assisting with initial water rescues of 73 people and 43 animals. Stoddard is one of 1,400 volunteers on standby, ready for the call.

Volunteer crews will assist with damage assessment and clean up efforts, as homeowners are allowed back into their properties to discover what can be repaired.

"A lot of times people are being quoted up in the tens of thousands of dollars to have this done, and that's the real struggle for a family who's just lost everything in a heartbreaking situation," Stoddard said.

The organization is made mostly of veterans and first responders, which Stoddard says is the perfect combination. "We have a special skill set  that allows us to operate in austere environments and really get a lot of hard work done," he explained.

At the same time, the volunteering opportunity gives veterans who lead on the battlefield a chance to lead in their communities.

"A lot of us struggle as veterans coming back to find a place in the community, find our place in society, and being a part of this organization really gives us an opportunity to reconnect with what it really means to actually help people," Stoddard said.

To help Brandon reach his fundraising goal with Team Rubicon, click here.