For too many Veterans, war is not the final battle. As PTSD and Opioid Epidemic have become household terms across America, supporting those facing the physical and mental aftermath of war has become one of the nation’s greatest challenges. But support isn’t about helping returning Veterans. It’s about empowering them, any way we can. We can embrace the use of medical marijuana, specifically hemp based Cannabidiol oil (CBD) over addictive opioids. We can help servicemen and women transition into the workforce. We can also tap into the immeasurable good that can occur when we give Veterans the opportunity to do what many feel they were meant to do; serve their country, and the world, in post-combat roles.
The latter is why the inspirational moment of Jake Wood accepting the Pat Tillman Award for Courage at the 2018 ESPY Awards is among America’s greatest stories.
This years’ award can be summarized in one, famous quote.
“Burn the Boat.”
That was Julius Caesar’s order as his troops crossed the Rubicon River en route to taking Rome. The river had been crossed. Moving forward was no longer a choice.
Jake Wood received the ESPY’s most revered award for his international disaster relief work as CEO of Team Rubicon. The organization was founded in 2010 by Jake and three friends, after Jake had returned home from Afghanistan where he served in a sniper unit.
Upon returning home, Jake planned on attending graduate school. Then, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti, killing as many as 300,000 people in a country slightly larger than New Jersey. Jake and his friends, realizing how uniquely qualified their experience at war had made them to help, were on the ground in Haiti three days later. Team Rubicon was born. The group’s mission was to coordinate mobile triage teams to help the most remote regions of what was already an isolated country, while providing emergency medical training to Haitian citizens in the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Since Haiti, Team Rubicon has responded to over 190 crises in the United States alone. From Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, to the refugee crisis in Greece, the group has grown to over 80,000 volunteers. 70 percent of them are Veterans, crossing their own Rubicon Rivers into civilian life, providing donor funded aid and medical support on 5 continents over the past decade.
At TruestYou, we support Team Rubicon because their mission strikes the core of what it means to support returning Veterans. Providing disaster relief is only half of the mission. The other half is about empowerment, leveraging Veteran’s strengths and uncovering their purpose in post-combat roles.
This is why we also support non-profits like The Travis Manion Foundation based in Philadelphia. This March we were honored to attend their annual PRUM, the black tie gala at the Franklin Institute along Philly’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The event raised $60,000 towards transitioning Veterans into the workforce and supporting the families of fallen soldiers. In addition, TruestYou donates five percent of all sales to charity, which our customers select by voting on our Instagram account. Team Rubicon and the Travis Manion Foundation have each been popular selections.
But at TruestYou, we also believe in utilizing our own expertise to help Veterans become their truest selves. That’s why we’re proud to be part of the movement to take Cannabidiol oil (CBD) into the mainstream. CBD is a non-psychoactive (unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you “high”), non-addictive compound of cannabis which has both analgesic and anti-anxiety properties. Simply put, we believe CBD has the power to treat PTSD while making dangerous opioids obsolete.
The belief is catching on. A new survey found that nearly half of people who use Cannabidiol products stop taking traditional medicines. In 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances. In June, the FDA approved a cannabis based drug for the first time. To hear a firsthand account on what it’s like to use CBD on a regular basis, follow this link.
From Haiti to Philadelphia, the opportunities to empower Veterans are abundant and diverse, thanks to groups like Team Rubicon and The Travis Manion Foundation. For those who have returned home from war, the Rubicon River has been crossed. TruestYou will continue doing all it can to ensure Veterans have a path to continue forward.
See who Team Rubicon has been helping and give to the cause here: TeamRubiconUSA.org