Columbia Veterans to Help Tornado Relief in Oklahoma

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COLUMBIA - Seven Columbia veterans are headed to Moore, Okla. to help with tornado relief efforts. They packed two pick-up trucks with supplies and gear and began the seven hour drive to Moore, Okl. The group plans to start volunteer work on Saturday.

The veterans are part of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit made up of veterans whose experience helps them bring aid to disaster zones. Team Rubicon expects more than 200 veterans from across the US to help disaster relief in Moore, Okla.

When they arrive the group will work on several different relief jobs. Those jobs will be decided by local authorities based on need. Those duties could be anything from search and rescue to clean up.

"Team Rubicon will be in touch with the local authorities, figure out what the needs of the area are, then we'll more than likely divide into teams and assess the situation," said volunteer Jonathan Pharr.

Pharr also volunteered in Team Rubicon's relief efforts in Joplin two years ago. He said his experience in Joplin has him prepared for what to expect in Oklahoma.

"Long hours, rigourous work, but then again, the fulfillment that comes from being able to help the people that are in need," Pharr said.

The veterans will come back to Columbia next Thursday. 

Veterans United helped plan and fund the veterans' trip. The company encouraged people to donate to Team Rubicon. For information on donating, you can visit the Team Rubicon website.