Saturday Spotlight: Robert Novotny
Chapter: Team RWB Long Island
Member Since: 2014
Motto: “Together, We Will beat This!”
Why Did You Join Team RWB?
“Upon terminating my active service, I moved to Indianapolis. It was the only job that hired me. I didn’t know anyone there and had nowhere to go, aside from the local pub. One of my friends suggested to meet up with Team Red White and Blue. I was introduced to the Chapter Captain and the Engagement Director in Indianapolis in early 2014. I began going to bowling and runs and socials. It turned into a great experience! It felt like that family I’d experienced when changing a duty station. I have always wanted to continue my involvement within the veteran community, post active service. I lost my best friend to suicide due to his transition. He took his life 3 months shy of his transition date. His last words to me wished me a happy birthday coupled with letting me know I was the best friend he ever had. Team RWB gives me the opportunity to engage with veterans so deeply that I know when something is aloof. Team RWB has given me a platform to save lives and continue to serve!”
What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?
“I have two very distinct experiences. First, the Regional Yoga Leadership Camp held on Shelter Island early December 2016. The greatness of 30 veterans and supporters practicing mindful resilience was amazing! Secondly, this year was the 5 year remembrance of my best friend Daniel. My girlfriend organized a 7.12 mile hike to honor July 12th. I’ve coped with loss through hiking, and over 40 Team RWB members were there to support. Both were simply perfect.”
How Do You Serve Your Community?
“I serve my local and national community by continuously entrenching myself in the civilian and veteran community. Networking to help veterans find employment is my biggest goal. I believe with gainful employment we will see a significant decrease in veteran homelessness and unemployment.“
What Inspires You?
“Others. Others passion, drive, motivation, anything that keeps them going inspires me. Everyone has a story they’re dealing with. Knowing that, watching others grow and continue to push inspires me every day!”
How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?
“It’s given me a sense of family. A network of caretakers. I was anxious to leave active service for the fear of never having this support group that exists in Team RWB.”
What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?
“Come to one event. Whether a social or physical event, come. It’s not about the event, it’s about those participating. You’ll be surprised how strong the memories and connections will be.”