When Marine sniper Jake Wood arrived home in the States after two brutal tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he wasn’t leaving war behind him. Ten years after returning home, Jake’s unit lost more men to suicide than to enemy hands overseas. He watched in horror as his best friend and fellow Marine, Clay Hunt, plunged into depression upon returning, stripped of his purpose, community, and sense of identity. Despite Jake’s attempts to intervene, Clay died by suicide, alone.
Reeling, Jake remembered how only one thing had given Clay a measure of hope: joining him in Haiti on a ragtag mission to save lives immediately following the 2010 earthquake. His military training had rendered him unusually effective in high-stakes situations. He wondered if there was a way to help communities in crisis, often in the wake of natural disasters, while providing a new mission to veterans? With that, he built on the early missions to co-found the now-iconic Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization with over 140,000 volunteers that drop into locations around the world to battle hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, pandemics, and civil wars, while reconnecting with a sense of purpose along the way. In this inspiring memoir, Once a Warrior: How One Veteran Found a New Mission Closer to Home, Jake recounts this extraordinary journey.
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