Seven mid-Missouri veterans headed to Moore, Okla., Friday afternoon to help with tornado relief efforts.
The trip is spearheaded by Team Rubicon, which partnered with Veterans United to send the vets to Oklahoma.
"They ended the search and rescue midnight of yesterday, so we're gonna start cleaning up the rubble, cleaning up people's houses, lawns, buildings...all the destruction we're going to try to clear that out so we can build anew," former Army Sergeant Levi Newman said.
Wanting to help alleviate trip costs as well as donate to the tornado victims, Veterans United Foundation donated $25,000 to Team Rubicon and $25,000 to the American Red Cross.
For some of the vets heading down to Moore, the trip evokes memories of the deadly tornado in Joplin on May 22, 2011.
"It just blew my mind. You see the videos and the pictures and everything like that but when you actually get there and see it in person it just...is devastating. But that kind of goes away when you're in there and you're actually making a difference and seeing these people and their families and hearing their stories and getting to know them and it just totally makes it worthwhile," former Marine Corps Sergeant jon Pharr said.
Pharr also added that veterans often look for ways to help others once they're out of combat, and this is an example of how they're making that a reality.The vets heading to Oklahoma are:Brad Atkins-former Navy Petty Officer Third ClassJames Bowe-retired Army First SergeantDelano Lenyard-former Army SergeantLevi Newman-former Army Sergeant and member of the Team Rubicon's national advisory boardJon Pharr-former Marine Corps Sergeant, deployed with Team Rubicon to Joplin in 2011Terry Roberts-former Marine Corps Staff SergeantCraig Swank-Major, Missouri Army National Guard