Veterans volunteer in Horry County, help clean up after Hurricane Matthew

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Veterans from all over the country were in Horry County this week helping clean up after Hurricane Matthew.

Over two dozen volunteers from the non-profit organization, Team Rubicon, came to the Grand Strand and worked on several projects.

“I like the way that it’s veteran-focused, but there’s first responders and some crazy civilians jump in as well,” said volunteer, Harvey Graham-Green. “Everyone works together pretty well.”

On Sunday, a group volunteered at John Graham’s house in Myrtle Beach. Graham’s backyard had multiple, large trees down from Hurricane Matthew.

“The ground started lifting up and so I said, ‘Oh God.’ I looked out the window the tree was gone,” said Graham. Even though the trees fell and left holes in his backyard, Graham said he was lucky because they fell away from his house.

Not only does Team Rubicon help people like Graham, it also gives volunteers a sense of purpose.

“I didn’t have a reason to be here until I found Team Rubicon,” said volunteer, Jacob “Junior” Nilz. “This is my family. I don’t know half these people, I just met them, but I know they’re there for me and I’m going to be there for them.”

Nilz has been on twelve operations with Team Rubicon and says it’s a great feeling when a homeowner sees the work they’ve done.

“You bring them out and they’re just in awe,” he added.

Graham-Green said the best part about volunteering with Team Rubicon is achieving a tangible goal for someone in need, like Graham.

“He wouldn’t be able to do anything about these trees,” added Graham-Green. “He might not be able to get someone to remove them, might take a long time. Some of these trees might stay in his yard for the next ten or 20 years.” However, Team Rubicon was able to remove most of them in a matter of hours, free of charge.

Team Rubicon volunteers travel nationally and internationally to areas affected by natural disasters. The organization is heading to North Carolina next but also currently has volunteers in Haiti, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

For more information on Team Rubicon, click here.