Veterans nonprofit aiding Wyoming tornado cleanup

EF-0 tornado cut through Wyoming on Aug. 20

A Team Rubicon cutting a tree in Wyoming on Tuesday Aug. 23, 2016 after an EF-0 ripped through on Aug. 20, 2016.

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of veterans that responds to natural disasters is in Wyoming to help clean up after the EF-0 tornado that tore through on Saturday.

Tuesday, Team Rubicon launched Operation Buster Mountain in Wyoming. Its members will conduct damage assessments, run chainsaws and help the city with debris management and removal.

>>Photos of the storm damage

The nonprofit was founded in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti by two veterans of the U.S. Marine. Since then, it has grown from eight members to 40,000. The team offers it services at no cost.

About two dozen veterans will be in West Michigan for the rest of the week to help with storm relief.

>>Complete coverage of the tornadoes

A Team Rubicon volunteer said missions like these help veterans reconnect with the community when they return home.

“As a veteran, when we leave the service, we always find that we’re lacking purpose and Team Rubicon gives us that purpose to serve citizens in a different capacity,” Brian Bartman explained.

Team Rubicon members have previously responded to West Michigan following flooding in Newaygo County in April 2014 and after an EF-1 tornado hit Wyoming and Kentwood in July 2014.

Beyond Operation Buster Mountain, Team Rubicon is providing relief in Louisiana following flooding and and in California and Montana after wildfires. Erlier this year — they were in West Virginia to help with flood relief.



Team Rubicon

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