Veterans volunteer in Delanson to help with storm cleanup - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Veterans volunteer in Delanson to help with storm cleanup

Posted: Updated: May 26, 2014 06:06 PM
DELANSON, N.Y. -- A group of veterans used the skills they gained from the field of battle to help tornado victims in Schenectady County.

Team Rubicon is a disaster relief organization that matches up volunteer veterans with first responders, and the veteran volunteers say it’s a way for them to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.

Elana Duffy, who is part of Team Rubicon, was serving in Iraq as an intelligence specialist when she became the victim of an IED. Her injuries were extensive and she was awarded the Purple Heart, but her military career was over.

“I mean they did everything they could and this gives purpose behind it,” said Duffy.

Duffy said that true healing came for her in hard work. Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, she joined Team Rubicon to help disaster victims.
“And ever since then it keeps me connected to my fellow veterans,” she said.

Her work has taken her to disaster areas across the world and now to Schenectady County. On Monday Duffy joined other volunteers to help cattle farmer Steve Guernsey clear debris from his collapsed barn.

“I can't thank them enough,” said Guernsey.

The appreciation residents have expressed to the volunteers is why, on this Memorial Day, Duffy isn’t honoring her fallen brothers and sisters by marching in a parade. Instead, she spent the day knocking down broken barn doors. 

“I stand by this is the best way to do it. I lost friends. They gave me the ability to serve and I am doing this in their honor, to keep on going,” Duffy said.

Team Rubicon was started by two marines who wanted to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

In a few short years, it's grown to 16,000 volunteers.

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