Military veterans lend a helping hand to area residents cleaning up flood damage

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EUREKA, MO (KPLR) - Lending a helping hand nearly a month after flooding consumed much of the area, the clean-up continues.

Monday it came with a little more meaning for a group of volunteers who are also turn out to be military veterans.

That's where "Team Rubicon" has been staying for the past month.

The groups trailer is all pack up because Monday night is actually their last night in town.

Now this group of disaster relief volunteer is a little different than most because about 70 percent of their volunteers are veterans and working together on Memorial Day made it a little more meaningful.

“It felt different...I think it helped everyone push a little harder to serve others I think is the biggest honor to those who have fallen”.

Terrance Gant lives in Tempe Arizona but has spent the last week living in the basement of a church in Eureka.

Gant served in the marine corps from 1998 to 2011 and when get got out he heard about Team Rubicon, a nonprofit made up mostly of veterans and first responders who go into communities after disasters.

“It gave me a purpose. In the service, every day you have a mission you wake up in the morning and you have a mission to accomplish then when you get out and return home you don`t have that mission or purpose anymore.”

Team Rubicon was started by two military veterans after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

“They tried to join up with some other service organization but they weren`t taking volunteers at the time and they were like we are military people and we do chaos we think we could do a lot of good.”

Team Rubicon now has 45,000 volunteers from all over the world and they say the reason it works so well is that they capitalize on the skill set of veterans.

“Military first responders are used to doing chaos well so we can work well in small groups and get a lot accomplished and that is really our secret sauce that makes us work.”

All around Jefferson and St. Louis County volunteers have been pulling out wet insulation and moving out moldy sandbags and furniture, not the type of work most people would volunteer to do.

“Sometimes as service members our sense of humor is a little bit odd we were out there joking around I mean it was sewer water but we were slinging sand bangs singing joke and we made it a good time.”

But today at 3 pm all work stopped as they all took a moment to remember their fellow soldiers.

“We had a moment where people shared some of their friends that have passed away it was very emotional but a very proud moment that we did it as a team.”

The organization has had about 98 people rotate through for one week shifts, they have been here for a month and leave tomorrow morning.