(134) Wandering Without Purpose: Team Rubicon Offers Purpose

Miss Molly profileGolly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

The toughest thing about retirement is wandering about seeking purpose in life. While I had a plan from childhood of wanting to serve others, I focused on education and nailed my passion with a local government career. Entering retirement, however, I struggled with the loss of that career. Taking care of my Veteran and his service dog, Miss Molly, occupies much of my time but in those extra hours, I dabbled in a bit of everything not finding much satisfaction.

Considering the Veteran, I imagine that the loss of purpose once leaving service crushes the spirit even more than what I felt. A military life and service in battle takes every ounce of energy, strength, and commitment every day. For some, it takes even more by way of loss of appendages, emotional being, and inability to function from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), toxic exposures, and other assaults.

This week, I stumbled upon a speech delivered by VA Secretary McDonald. He addressed a group called Team Rubicon at its leadership conference of 200 volunteers. McDonald acknowledged the work of Team Rubicon, referring to Veterans as “the greatest asset of this nation.”

What is Team Rubicon? 

Team Rubicon is a nonprofit disaster relief organization that combines the skills and experiences of military Veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.

Bobbi Snethen in “Team Rubicon’s leadership conference prepares Veteran volunteers to respond to disasters”

In Snethen’s article on the VA website, credit is given to this organization for growing from eight volunteers six years ago to 8,000 Veterans today. Teams of Veterans, who volunteer, deploy throughout the world to help communities when disaster first strikes. Their efforts worldwide include 2010 disaster relief in Haiti, building a health clinic and training medical staff in Lake Tanganyika and other remote locations in Africa, earthquake relief in Turkey and Nepal, flood relief in Pakistan, and training of emergency and medical personnel on the Thailand/Burma border. On the domestic front, Team Rubicon lists nearly 100 relief efforts across the United States.

Training Program

On a final note, Team Rubicon’s website mentions the Clay Hunt Fellows Program, which is a 12-month leadership and training program that trains Veterans to succeed in the civilian workforce. The program not only contributes to the success of the Veteran but builds leadership capacity within the organization to help in expanding the reach of this organization throughout the world.

The Molly Disclaimer 

If Miss Molly could do more than bark, snore, eat, and love, she would tell me to let you know that we have no personal knowledge of Team Rubicon. Our knowledge is based solely on news articles, the website, and videos. Judging by what we have seen, she does offer the endorsement of a Bow WOW!

Post your Comments: 

Have you ever struggled with a loss of purpose? What did you do to find new purpose? Please reply below. 

Sources cited: 

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her granddaughter.