The cadets of the Royal Warrior Battalion recently had the opportunity to partner with Team Rubicon, an organization dedicated to helping provide disaster relief and supporting community service projects across the nation.
On April 18, Matt Pelak, Team Rubicon director of strategic partnerships and a Wilkes-Barre native, spoke to nearly 50 members of the cadet battalion. During his time with the battalion, Pelak discussed how Team Rubicon was formed and how through disaster relief efforts and community service veterans find a way to both connect with one another, as well as continue to serve their community. He also shared with cadets how he became involved with Team Rubicon and his experiences of helping provided disaster relief in Pakistan following floods there in 2010. Since Team Rubicon’s efforts to help communities following Hurricane Sandy, the organization has grown to more than 8,000 volunteers and has gained corporate sponsorship from companies such as Google and Home Depot.
“Sometimes I think people forget about the needs of our veterans," said sophomore Alexandra Nachtman, a military science level II cadet. "Doing anything to help our veterans is of great importance to me – they deserve all the honor and help they can get. Team Rubicon is an inspiring and impacting organization, and I really enjoyed working with them.”
On April 19, approximately 24 cadets from the battalion joined forces with six members of Team Rubicon and others from the campus community to help with the painting and clean up of a local shelter for homeless veterans in downtown Scranton. Cadets grabbed paint brushes, helped haul out trash, and provided some much needed landscaping around the facility. Within a couple hours the center, which is led by the local chapter of Catholic Social Services, took on a new appearance as six bedrooms and a hallway were painted and mulch was spread around trees and bushes.
"After hearing Mr. Pelak describe the types of projects Team Rubicon does throughout the nation, and then experiencing it first hand on Friday, this is an organization that I could seriously see myself being a part of in the future." said Sean Cogan, a millitary science level IV cadet.
"It was amazing seeing everyone working together to give these veterans a nicer place to live,” added Carina Hanks, military science level IV cadet. “They have fought so hard for us and Team Rubicon gave us the chance to help them and show our gratitude for everything these men and women have done for our country. "
The Military Science Department is especially appreciative of the efforts of Rebecca Haggerty, director of assessment and accreditation for the College of Arts and Sciences, for helping organize this partnership between Team Rubicon and the Army ROTC cadets.
Matt Pelak, Team Rubicon director of strategic partnerships, speaks with cadets from the Royal Warrior Battalion.