About 50 veterans will travel to Washington, Ill., this week to provide disaster relief services to the tornado-ravaged town, NPR reported.
Members of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit organization composed mostly of veterans dedicated to helping others through crises, will spend the next three weeks in the Illinois town clearing out the rubble. The news outlet reported that by doing so, the veterans will save the homeowners who had their houses destroyed by the tornado about $10,000 in clean-up costs.
The veterans volunteering with Team Rubicon have become known as "second responders," the news source stated. In many ways, it makes sense that servicemembers who have recently returned from war would be well-suited for disaster relief services: The highly trained servicemembers have already been in war zones, so they're equipped with the skills and resources needed to tackle the destruction.
"One of the reasons they allow us in first is that a lot of the cities don't have 100 people to send out to do [property] assessments," Team Rubicon member and Marine veteran David Casler told the news outlet. "I can give you in real time what's going on, on the ground."
Many veterans told NPR that giving back through their service with Team Rubicon can be a healing experience, especially for those with post-traumatic stress disorder.