'Beat LA,' says Yankees fan, Harvey volunteer staying long-term
Team Rubicon will stay long-term to help with Hurricane Harvey
HOUSTON – Wednesday will mark two months since Hurricane Harvey made landfall and there are still homes in desperate need of repair.
The need is so great that one national veterans volunteer group has decided it's staying long-term.
Team Rubicon has been on the ground in Houston for 52 days. If that name sounds familiar, then perhaps you were watching Game 7 of the ALCS.
“Team Rubicon has deployed over 2,000 men and women from around the country to assist in the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort,” said the announcer on FS1 during the bottom of the third inning.
Thanks to the Astros Foundation, some of those volunteers were able to witness history that night, including Brian Costa from Massachusetts.
“I fantasized about it when I was at home with my wife," Costa said. "I says, 'Wouldn't it be fantastic to see Game 7 of the Yankees playing the Astros?'"
He is, admittedly, a Yankees fan and a baseball fanatic. However, when he got the call to come to Houston, he packed up without hesitation, knowing he may not be able to see his team play.
“I just asked to stay another week because there's so many people down here that need so much help," Costa said. "It's incredible."
“This is the biggest operation we've ever stood up in Team Rubicon,” said Bob Pries, the area commander for Operation Hard Hustle.
Team Rubicon was founded in the aftermath of Haiti when a group of veterans got together and put their skills to good use. Seven years later, they are 60,000 volunteers strong.
“We stood up a water rescue team (and) came down and conducted 78 rescues, I believe that number is," Pries said. "Plus, 40-some animals -- and from that, we were planning this response.”
In the Houston area, the group has completed nearly 1,000 work orders. In other words, it has assisted about 1,000 families. Yet, there is still so much to do, and because of that, Team Rubicon is doing something it's never done before.
“We plan on being here for quite some time,” Pries said.
For the first time, the group is committing to help rebuild a region, which, in turn, may boost the morale of those still in need -- much like the Astros are doing for the entire area.
“The noise at the end, I had to block my ears it was so loud," Costa said. "And I was so happy for them. I was really happy because we have 27 pennants -- come on. You know, we don't need another one right now. After a Yankee fan, I'm an American League fan, so it's Houston all the way boys, so beat LA.”
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