The Norman Transcript

Local news

June 27, 2013

Veterans find relief helping Moore tornado victims, cleanup

NORMAN — For the city of Moore, it’s free tornado relief. For almost 400 U.S. military veterans, it’s an opportunity to put their training to use and continue helping people.

Made up mostly of military veterans, Team Rubicon volunteers arrived in Moore within 24 hours after the May 20 tornado, said Erica Chomsky, Team Rubicon public information officer. Shortly more than a month later, volunteers have performed more than 3,000 damage assessments and worked on nearly 400 homes.

Temporarily based in the Home Depot parking lot in Moore, Team Rubicon volunteers have come from all over the country to demolish 45 homes, remove heavy debris from more than 70 properties, mitigate damage on more than 50 homes and clear 300 acres of debris from Orr Family Farm.

Team Rubicon, headquartered in Los Angeles, was formed after a group of veterans traveled to Haiti to perform earthquake relief in 2010, Chomsky said. Since then, the nonprofit has grown and provided disaster relief all over the world.

When Cal Verdin retired after serving 20 years in the Army, he found difficulty and frustration relating to people who lack the level of discipline he acquired in the military.

He found relief working with fellow military veterans and serving his country once again 15 months ago when he joined Team Rubicon. He has now served 30 days as incident commander for the team’s “Operation: Starting Gun,” providing tornado relief in Moore.

Veterans have trouble adapting to life after the military because they lose the camaraderie and sense of initiative they adopt while they’re serving, Verdin said.

“All they know is that brotherhood they’ve established and that focused mission,” he said. “When they get out, they don’t have that. When they come back to their families and their friends back home, they don’t understand that.”

Many veterans feel the need to continue giving in some capacity, Verdin said. Veterans can fill that void by serving communities devastated by disaster.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Solar cars 7 Solar cars use Norman area during pit stop

    Flat, low to the ground with reflective panels and bright colors, these moving vehicles look more like cartoon spaceships than solar race cars. But these funny looking cars represent exactly what the American Solar Challenge (ASC) ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Motorcyclist injured in collision

    A motorcyclist was injured in a collision Tuesday night in Norman....

    July 23, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 1:37 a.m. stolen vehicle, 2100 block of West Brooks Street · 6:27 a.m. larceny report, 200 block of Driftwood Drive · 8:58 a.m. harassment or threats report, 1200 ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Linda Marquez, 36, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, driving a motor vehicle under the influence of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Leaving the scene of an accident

    A Norman woman was charged Tuesday with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury over the weekend in Moore. Linda Marquez, 36, also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014