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Reflections on Operation: Seabird

Reflections on Operation: Seabird

Upon reflection, it’s ironic.

I am one of the lucky few who work full time for Team Rubicon. I am a training associate and I help create training material for our volunteers. Sometimes, I get to write fun stuff, like chainsaw guides and rope safety guides. Sometimes, the work seems a little more mundane.The guide on how to tarp a roof seemed especially mundane.

Then we were in Tanauan. On a roof, whilst below me, my teammates worked at fever pitch pace, alongside doctors, they sewed together horrendous wounds and delivered new born life into a world of filth.

Volunteers Chris Wharton and Breaux Burns tarp the roof of a field hospital in Tanauan. Volunteers Chris Wharton and Breaux Burns tarp the roof of a field hospital in Tanauan during Operation: Seabird.

In the midst of the suffering, they patched up bodies and souls and gave hope to all who watched them. My battle buddy and I had to tarp the roof above them. We knew they needed a respite from the rain, needed a more sterile workplace. We worked hard and long to try to give them one.

"We knew they needed a respite from the rain, needed a more sterile workplace. We worked hard and long to try to give them one." “We knew they needed a respite from the rain, needed a more sterile workplace. We worked hard and long to try to give them one.”

And somewhere in that two-day period, I realized that everything we train for has a real-world application, 15 feet below us was a world that was as real as it gets.

I am proud to serve with these heroes. When we die we will all ask ourselves, “Am I the only person I ever helped?” These men and women can answer with a resounding “no.” I know because I have seen them in action.

I said it’s ironic. I cannot wait to write the “How to Tarp a Roof” guide.

Awaiting transportation after a long day of gathering assessments in Tolosa, Wharton shared some laughs with local children. Awaiting transportation after a long day of gathering assessments in Tolosa, Wharton shared some laughs with local children.