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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Article which descibes why TR is different

Great Article from Mudville Gazette
"You want it done right, send a Milblogger."
Team Rubicon, for those who haven't been following, "is a self-financed and self-deployed group of former Marines, soldiers and health care professionals currently providing emergency relief in Haiti." When they heard of the disaster, they decided to "just do it." While others were busy complaining about the post-quake chaos at the Port au Prince Airport, they went in through the Dominican Republic and have been conducting relief efforts all week.

None of that would be known had it not been for team member Badger Jake, a milblogger who launched his site in 2005 with the story of his trip to Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina ("Although I'm out of school, presently unemployed and living with my parents, my life has actually been kind of exciting...") and followed shortly after with "Peace out civilian world. I'll see you in 13 weeks as a Marine. Check back here, I might have my parents write some updates for me on how I'm doing in boot camp. Otherwise, put the beers on ice."
From there Iraq during the surge and Afghanistan the following year. Then late last year, "I'm a civilian now, a very happy one. I spent the last four years proudly serving in the Marine Corps and now it is time for me to find a new direction in my life." Fortunately the title of that last post (Last Post?) included a question mark - and the answer is no. Three months later he's in Haiti, and blogging again.
Now back to what Glenn said. (Memory jogger: "You want it done right, send a Milblogger.") He's right - if you want to establish order from chaos quickly in the wake of a major disaster you send in the US military (see Katrina), and if you want the story told you make sure someone's along who can tell it. Team Rubicon includes former military - in this case think experienced emergency responders - and that's precisely why they're able to do what they're doing. Combine experience with teamwork, rapid life-or-death decision making, long term existence in austere conditions, and an ability to keep your head while all about you are losing theirs with a desire to fix broken things (and recognize what isn't) and you've got the basic description of the sort of people you want to have around should a disaster strike in your world.
I suppose mechanic is as good a name as any for that sort of person. The U.S. military attracts such people. (This doesn't mean everyone in the military is such a person - far from it.) But the military takes people with (or without) that born desire to fix broken things and provides them with the experience in teamwork, life-or-death decision making, and surviving in austere conditions mentioned above. Somewhere along the way comes the discovery of whether you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs - and whether you can put up with those who can't (along with those who actually break things, or those who will put forth great effort to fix things that ain't broken) long enough to make a career of it.
"It" being the military. When something breaks the born mechanic will always show up with the right tools, whether he's in a uniform or not.


  1. There is another story going on in Haiti that many are not aware of. The only reason pictures and emails and blackberries are working out of Haiti is due to the heroic efforts of a man named Reynold Guerrier who is single-handedly manning the only operating data center in Haiti. They have no commercial power and have been scrounging fuel deliveries to keep the generators operating. They have enough to get through the weekend but do not have a general delivery schedule yet.

    The rest of the crew there has either fled the country with their families or are tending to injured family members. This one person is responsible for the fact that there is any data communication out of Haiti at all. And like the community here supporting Team Rubicon, there is a community of network operators around the world attempting to help Reynold but no organized effort such as TR.

    If your blackberries go dark in Haiti, it is probably because the internet exchange at Boutillers Hill has run out of diesel or Reynold has had to leave to tend his family (wife and two small children).

    This really is a global effort to help in so many ways.

  2. Dear lord, I just read his story, thanks for bringing it to our attention. Oh man, I feel so helpless. Those darn bureaucrats. You wanna bop 'em upside the head. They should be more like our Marines: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome! It looks like some other bloggers are on the case. Maybe they can get to someone in State. Let's pray.

  3. As I was once told in USMC boot camp many years ago; "We the few, have done so much, with so little, for so long;that we are now capable of doing anything with nothing!"

    Great to see this "Esprit de Corps" lives on, God bless them one and all.