Veterans helping with Conway tornado recovery

Team Rubicon volunteers assisting residents

CONWAY, Mass. (WWLP) – They served their country once in the military, and now they are serving Americans again by helping communities hit by disaster. Volunteers from the group Team Rubicon are in Conway, helping with the continuing recovery from the February tornado that hit the Franklin County town.

The town received a lot of damage from the February 25th tornado, and Team Rubicon is in Conway this weekend helping in recovery efforts.

As part of what they are calling “Operation Smashing Pumpkin” (a reference to the hard-hit Pumpkin Hollow area of Conway), Team Rubicon has provided heavy equipment and tree-cutters to assist area residents.

“We go around and we work together as a team and that’s something that works great for veterans because that’s what we are used too,” Veteran Shawn Baker said.

Team Rubicon is a veteran-led group that travels to areas that have experienced natural disasters. It was founded in 2010 following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and they have since responded to disasters across the United States and around the world. About 43,000 military veterans have volunteered in Team Rubicon activities since the group’s founding.

“When we get done, we want people to walk out the door and not notice that there was a tornado,” Veteran Paul Kelly said. We want all visual evidence of a tornado to be gone.

Team Rubicon will continue their cleanup Saturday and Sunday.