Sunday, December 9, 2012

Team Rubicon makes top 5 of American Giving Awards

Team Rubicon Makes Top 5
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
December 9, 2012

While it was wonderful to see so many people starting charities to take care of others as quiet heroes, my heart was cheering for Team Rubicon because of what has inspired them all this time.

American Giving Awards on NBC last night focused on how charities are not just doing good work for others, they are changing minds about the causes they work for.
"The Leadership Award was given to actress Glenn Close for her work with her non-profit organization Bring Change 2 Mind, which aims to end the stigma of mental illness. The cause is a personal one, because Close has family members that suffer from mental illness."
Glenn Close said “It's huge. You don't see that many things about mental illness. ... That shows that mental illness is not a comfortable thing for people to talk about, and the fact that they are giving me this award and my family — my sister, two of her children and my daughter are going to come up with me — because I think the image of a family together surrounding and supporting their members who have mental illness, there's no words for it. That's where I'm so moved and honored by this recognition and excited, actually, that we can put that image on television."

Families think they have to protect the member of the family with mental health illness but more and more are talking about it knowing there is no shame in having this type of illness anymore than there is any other illness.

Gary Sinise talked about how our veterans are showing up to help out areas hit by hurricane Sandy. A strong advocate for veterans and our troops, Sinise has been traveling the country and overseas entertaining the troops, visiting the wounded and working hard for our veterans.

The best part for me was when Team Rubicon made it into the top 5. This group is made up of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans traveling the country when disaster hits.

Mission Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with medical professionals to rapidly deploy emergency response teams into crisis situations.
I have been tracking this organization since the suicide of Clay Hunt, one of the founding members.

Clay Hunt (1982-2011) was an original member of Team Rubicon, joining the team in Port-au-Prince for its first mission. Prior to Team Rubicon, Clay served two hard tours as a Marine Corps sniper with TR cofounder Jake Wood. Clay was wounded in combat in Iraq in 2007, only to return to duty and deploy again to Afghanistan in 2008. Clay was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon leaving the Marines.

Clay became a national face for PTSD awareness and suicide prevention, but sadly, Clay lost his battle with depressions when he took his own life in March, 2011. Clay’s death inspired Team Rubicon to focus on helping veterans through continued service in disasters; by doing so Team Rubicon can provide the purpose, self-worth and community that Clay so badly needed.

Team Rubicon was one of the nominees of the CNN Hero Awards as well.

Congratulations to all the winners of the awards and to More Than Me