Jake Wood, a United States veteran, co-founded the non-profit organization Rubicon in January 2010. His inspiration to start the project was fueled by two prevalent problems. The first being, inadequate disaster response. The current system is too slow, using outdated technology and volunteers who are not fully trained or equipped with the right resources to minimize the effects of the disaster efficiently. The second problem that Wood noticed was inadequate veteran reintegration. When veterans return to society they often experience the following three things: 1) Lack of Purpose, 2) Missing sense of community, and 3) Depleting self-worth.
In his talk, Wood explains that a veteran returning to society, is “no longer Sargent Jones in his community, his is now Dave from Kansas City.” Many veterans struggle to accept the new structure of society and often feel their lives are no longer meaningful.
Wood found that these two problems could be solutions to each other. Rubicon, gives veterans an opportunity to help serve their country in a similar manner to when they were in the service. In addition, those affected by the disaster will receive the skills and expertise of the trained veterans. Wood has found that his organization has helped reinstitute a purpose, a community and self-worth for many of the participating veterans.
Watch Wood’s riveting speech on how Rubicon has helped veterans nationwide reconnect with society.