Magazine article VFW Magazine

Helping Those Who Volunteer

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Helping Those Who Volunteer

Article excerpt

A devastating tornado ripped through Hattiesburg, a town in southern Mississippi in the early morning hours of Jan. 21. Four Hattiesburg residents died, 56 area residents were injured, and more than 1,100 homes in the area were damaged or destroyed by the EF-3 tornado, according to an Associated Press report.

Just days after the tornado ripped through the area, volunteers from Team Rubicon, a non-profit disaster response organization consisting of many veterans and first responders, were on the ground starting their mission to clean up the affected areas.

Team Rubicon called the effort Operation Iron Bird.

As directed by VFW National Headquarters, Post 3036 in Hattiesburg reached out to members of the team to help in their efforts.

"It was a privilege helping them," said George Harrington, Post 3036 senior vice commander. "[Team Rubicon is] a very efficient and impressive organization. I was so impressed with their organization, and [it] made a big enough impression on me, that [I] and my wife volunteered to participate with Team Rubicon."

The Post donated $1,000 to the volunteers to pay for bottled water, snacks and other supplies. The Post also paid for more than $1,000 worth of repairs, maintenance and supplies for Team Rubicon's equipment, such as chainsaws.

"We covered the maintenance and repair costs for [Team Rubicon's] hand tools," Harrington said.

The Post also provided more than $500 to purchase tarps to cover tornado-damaged roofs, according to a report by Post Commander Louis K. …

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