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3 Veterans Share The Reasons Behind Their Continued Service
As part of the Second Oath, Task & Purpose partnered with Team Rubicon and The Mission Continues to promote a national movement around public service. By sharing and celebrating the stories of veterans making an impact in communities around the country, we hope to inspire even more selfless acts of service.
Three members of Team Rubicon share their stories of service. Here's why they committed to serving their country even after separating from the military.
“I’m a part of something much bigger than myself.”Melanie Williamson is a U.S. Navy vet who’s deployed on multiple relief operations with Team Rubicon, including “Operation: Double Trouble” in her home state of Texas after the torrential floods in April 2015. The 28-year-old former aviation machinist thinks there is nothing comparable to the feeling you get while serving others with a big rowdy crew.
Why did you take the Second Oath?
"Sure, I love to put a fubar through a wall, throw debris as hard as I can, and be so sweaty and exhausted at the end of the day I can hardly function. But what I truly love is helping people. The hugs and tearful handshakes break down my rough edges and bring me back to my passion for being a part of the solution. I’m a part of something much bigger than myself. I have a purpose again."
“Helping those who can’t help themselves is an obligation that each of us has.”Jerome Alexander Deniz, 31, is a former Chinese linguist for the U.S. Navy. After the military, he used the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to finish his degree in Chinese studies and now works for SHINE Systems & Technologies, providing software training and workflow development to clients. He also works as a regional technology manager for Team Rubicon Region 9.
Why did you take the Second Oath?
“Service continues to be of great importance to me because I strongly believe that everyone should pay it forward. Helping those who can’t help themselves is an obligation that each of us has. One small act of kindness can go a long way in helping improve someone’s quality of life, whether it’s emotionally, spiritually, or physically.”
"Every time I put on my Team Rubicon shirt, it reminds me why our organization exists and the ideals we stand for.”U.S. Army veteran Jonathan Chiang lives in San Francisco serves as the Northern California communications coordinator for Team Rubicon. One of the most pivotal moments of his life was becoming a platoon leader for the first time and being entrusted with the personal and professional development, welfare, and discipline of soldiers and preparing them for deployment. He says the people he’s met through Team Rubicon have helped him gain a new core network of close friendships and unique experiences.
Why did you take the Second Oath?
"Every time I put on my Team Rubicon shirt, it reminds me why our organization exists and the ideals we stand for: a literal band of brothers and sisters whom share a common bond of former service to our country, now bonding together for a greater service yet again. It’s truly an exhilarating and intensely satisfying feeling to be working, sweating, and serving next to these men and women who consistently put the needs of others over their own and sacrifice time out of their busy lives to help those in dire need."
The Second Oath is an initiative led by The Mission Continues, Team Rubicon, and Task & Purpose uniting veterans around the country who are giving back to their communities through public service projects. Take a second oath of service and commit to serving your community. Don’t know where to volunteer? We’ll help you connect to local efforts in your area.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the north of the country to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the border into the United States, the head of the Mexican Army said on Monday.
Mexico has not traditionally used security forces to stop undocumented foreign citizens leaving the country for the United States, and photographs of militarized police catching Central American and Cuban women at the border in recent days have met with criticism.
Mexico is trying to curb a surge of migrants from third countries crossing its territory in order to reach the United States, under the threat of tariffs on its exports by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made tightening border security a priority.
Packages containing suspected heroin were found in the home of the driver charged with killing seven motorcyclists Friday in the North Country, authorities said Monday.
Massachusetts State Police said the packages were discovered when its Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and New Hampshire State police arrested Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, at his West Springfield home. The packages will be tested for heroin, they said.
Zhukovskyy faces seven counts of negligent homicide in connection with the North Country crash on Friday evening that killed seven riders associated with Jarhead Motorcycle Club, a club for Marines and select Navy corpsmen.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.