Military veterans group cleans up tornado debris

By alyssa donovan

December 1, 2013 Updated Dec 2, 2013 at 12:03 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- One group of volunteers is cleaning up tornado debris to serve their country.

"We're still here, we love our country and we love helping out other people,” said Paul Miller of Team Rubicon.

Paul Miller is a marine veteran. He spent Sunday serving his country in the city of Washington alongside more than 50 other veterans on Team Rubicon.

"The beauty of Team Rubicon is that as veterans we can give back to the world or the community,” Miller said.

About 90 percent of the team members are veterans.

"I'm a marine mom actually,” said Wanda Schmitt of Team Rubicon.

Schmitt's son is currently deployed. She said he will be home soon to help here on the home front.

For the veterans, the team is more than just a way to serve their country, it is a support system.

"Whether it be PTSD, reintegration into society. We all know of that so it's a great support system. We can all just come here, be a brotherhood and serve a community,” Miller said.

"I think it really does good for the heart, especially for the combat veterans, to come here and help in their own country,” Schmitt said.

However, Rubicon helps with disaster relief worldwide. A group of these volunteers were rerouted from the Philippines to give assistance closer to home.

"Within three hours of our departure we found out we were being rerouted here,” Schmitt said.

The team was rerouted to Washington, where they are making a big difference. They split up to cover as much ground as possible.

"The military folks are logistical experts, they make it happen very quickly and they are very efficient,” Schmitt said.

Team Rubicon has cleared debris from several homes in the city so far but they have more than 100 to go and they won't stop until they are done.