Life of a TR Red Hoodie: Year Three

Well-Traveled Sweatshirt Reflects on Adventures with Team Rubicon

It has been 1,095 days since I escaped from the TRarmory and was presented to the newest teammate fulfilling the role of a roster jockey. I was crisp, sharp, and bright. I even had creases in my sleeves, which would make any inspecting officer proud (please overlook the floppy hood).

My owner was Mediocre But Arrogant, although he was ready, eager, and willing to get straight to work. He was a little oblivious about his ticket aboard the pain train, but since his wild ride began, I have never been far from his side. Here’s a list of the shit I’ve been through as a protector of a Greyshirt:

  • Deployed to Operation Joe Louis in Detroit M*ch*g*n (Go Buckeyes!) exactly three years since I was pulled into the Grey by my owner. See relentless fundraising pitch below.
  • Was brought to tears and tingles on Sept 7 when I was greeted by my fellow Red Hoodies worn by the entire HQ & NOC team after my Greyshirt’s wedding to a fellow Greyshirt on Sept 4.
  • Accompanied him through his first Team Rubicon impact presentation at TRLC 2016, but more importantly protected him during the 7+ practice sessions beforehand. (When he gets nervous, he tugs on my hood.)
  • Endured the Hollywood lifestyle for a full four hours during a photo shoot. Bet you I am the first Red Hoodie to be broadcast on Times Square.
  • Not sure why he pulled me out in Dallas, TX, at TRLC 2016 during the Wellness breakout session — apparently he thinks I am a comfort blanket.
  • Absorbed countless hours of bright white screen time with mem@ jamming through feedback and reports.
  • Spent hours in integration meetings with do-gooder engineers where my threads and seams were pulled and stretched to the limit, but we held the line.
  • Traveled coast to coast, where I was thrown aside for a suit. No hard feelings, he needed me at 3 a.m.
  • Balled up and used for a pillow during Operation: Tenzing in Nepal, waiting for those deploying to funnel through LA and pick up their kit.
  • Worked, whined, and winced whilst in Washington on my first deployment. My most memorable, moving, and meaningful moments were not when I was fading in front of the glowing monitor or when my sleeve was used to erase David Burke’s detailed white board sessions, but when I was mobilized for Operation: Humble Trooper, in Pateros, WA. I provided comfort and warmth after long-ass days of clearing debris with comrades Bob, Jerome, Jim, Jordon, Jon, Matt, and Vic. Purpose, community, and identity were rediscovered.
  • I was among other red TR hoodies and my lighter, thinner, less versatile but more glamorous cousin, the TR grey shirt, and our second cousins from the southern hills, the sleeveless grey shirts (the muscles of the family). Whether cutoff, T-shirt, hoodie, or polo, this is our Tribe and it felt amazing to be home.
  • Survived the hugs and squeezes from my owner’s mother in Region I and every TR member who swings by the national office, but somehow, I could not fend off the piercing puppy nibbles of Remington.
  • Listened to my owner and his fellow 2/8 Marines of Region I solve all the world’s problems after too many beers at the National Leadership Conference in 2014.
  • Froze through my first Run As One in Columbus, OH in 2014 and did not defrost until the Run As One in 2015 in Santa Monica, CA.

I hope my owner learns how to sew those holes, although I display them with pride. I am worn, ripped, and dirty. I still have something to give: comfort, pride, and identity. Even when the nights become late and the temperature drops, I am there. Even when my owner is silent (which is rare, just ask his teammates Joe, Kate, Jon, McKay, Laurie, and Brian), I proclaim our brand. Even when my owner thinks no one is watching, I display our sacred X.

And when the hood goes up, it’s time to go to work. See you out there or more than likely, see you behind the screen.

Check out “My Life as a TR Hoodie” authored in 2015.

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