Hometown Hero: Bill Blair helping in Texas and Florida
U.S. Army Veteran rebuilds hurricane-ravaged cities through Team Rubicon
One year after the devastation of Hurricane Michael, we are revisiting the stories of the heroes who are still working to make a difference in their hometowns.
U.S. Army Veteran Bill Blair was watching football one Saturday when he saw something that changed his life.
It was a short video about Team Rubicon, which puts veterans to work delivering humanitarian aid in the wake of disasters.
“The hair stood up on the back of my neck,” Blair remembers. “I said to myself, ‘I can do that. I can help them out.’”
He joined right away, and – in less than two weeks – he was on his way to Houston to assist in Hurricane Harvey recovery.
Since his first deployment to Houston, Blair, who lives on the west coast, has been on the ground helping in both Texas and Florida.
In addition to providing immediate relief to these areas, Blair has returned several times to help with the long-term hurricane recovery efforts.
He predicts the Hurricane Michael recovery could last well into 2020.
“We can’t forget about them,” Blair says. Hurricane Michael no longer dominates headlines, but the residents of Panama City, Florida, are still on Blair’s mind as they rebuild. The same is true of people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
“Once something is no longer the top story, after a week or so, it’s gone,” Blair says. But it shouldn’t be forgotten, he says. “We’re still rebuilding Houston. We’re still rebuilding Panama City.”
Whataburger continues to partner with Team Rubicon, and other organizations, to keep the focus on rebuilding lives.
“Our biggest reward is helping those in need,” Bill says. “We don’t go there to be appreciated. We go there to help those in need, and just to be able to do it is a blessing.”