Finding Strength in Community: Robert’s Story
Life can throw challenges and obstacles our way, testing our strength and resilience. Army veteran Robert Cichon faced such difficulties when he transitioned out of the military during a tough economy and job market. At one point, he battled depression and contemplated reenlisting. However, life changed for the better when he discovered Team RWB, and the community that positively impacted his life and that of his family.
Robert's journey began in 2004 when he enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard at just 17 years old. He’d always been interested in humanitarian work and was able to experience it while in the Guard. One of his first assignments was assisting with recovery after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005.
After serving six years, Robert left the Guard in 2010. He and his wife had two children with another on the way. The decision to transition to civilian life seemed right, but it was much tougher than he expected. Accustomed to the camaraderie and support of the Guard where he’d spent most of his adult life, he missed the feeling of belonging that comes with being part of a team; the feeling of being around those who could say, “I’ve been there too.”
In 2018, he hit a low point, facing depression while attempting a career change. It was then he saw a social media post showing someone running with the American flag. Something clicked, and he knew he had found the team he had been searching for – Team RWB. Two weeks later, he joined a chapter hike, and that experience led to larger events. What truly brought him back was the connection he made with another member who stayed in touch and listened to him. The camaraderie he longed for in civilian life was found within this close-knit veteran community.
What makes Team RWB special is its dedication not only to veterans but also to their families. Robert found motivation and inspiration in sharing Team RWB with his 16-year-old daughter, who battles a painful autoimmune disorder. As a national rucking group coordinator for Team RWB, Robert encourages new ruckers to start with something simple like walking. He even encouraged his daughter to ruck with him around their property, carrying her med kit. Now, she's enthusiastic about regularly rucking with her dad, proving the tremendous power of doing things together.
Through his involvement, Robert has become an integral part of the Team RWB community. As a volunteer leader, he firmly believes in the strength of humans working alongside each other. The impact of this supportive community is evident not only in Robert's life but also in the life of his daughter, who serves as an inspiration for other veteran members to overcome challenges, lead healthier lives, and find a deeper sense of purpose.
Are you feeling stuck like Robert? You don’t have to. Answer the call and join Team RWB.