Jill Orr, Team RWB’s Denver Veteran Outreach Leader
Team Red, White & Blue is a fast growing organization of veterans and civilians alike. Team RWB’s mission: “To enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” It is easy to identify members at an event. They proudly display Old Glory and wear Team RWB shirts. Civilian volunteer Jill Orr is the Veteran Outreach Leader in the Denver Chapter. www.teamrwb.org
Jill Orr’s father served in the USMC and her brother in the Air Force. She hails from Iowa originally, has lived in San Diego, and Colorado for the last 19 years. She became a member of Team RWB in 2014. During her spare time, you can find Jill outdoors much of the time enjoying two of her favorite activities, road cycling and running.
Thank you, Jill, for taking the time to share your story. Let’s start with why you were motivated to volunteer with Team RWB.
“I first joined Team RWB in 2014 participating in one of the hiking series events. I loved the warm welcome, positive energy, and instantly feeling part of the group. I eventually began to actively volunteer with Team RWB because I want to be part of something bigger. Something that is making a positive impact in our communities, where I can roll up my sleeves, help make authentic connections, and make a positive difference in veteran’s lives. It’s what feels right.”
Would you say your experience as a volunteer in this community has had an impact in your life?
“Absolutely! Being a volunteer with Team RWB as well as with other local organizations has made a positive impact on my life, on many fronts. Having managed volunteers for many years, I already knew the value of volunteerism and how rewarding it can be, yet nothing beats experiencing being one first hand. Being a volunteer for Team RWB has:
1) taught me how to be even more positive during challenging times,
2) brought even more meaning, purpose, and direction in my life,
3) introduced me to some of the most inspiring people (veterans and veteran supporters) whom I might not have met otherwise,
4) has increased my awareness and appreciation for the men and women who have served/continue to serve our country and all that they have sacrificed to do so. Overall, it has been a humbling, educational, awe-inspiring, “yes…we can do this!” volunteer kind of experience.”
When we spoke earlier, you mentioned your family and friends have recognized and commented on your passion regarding this organization. What has been your favorite activity or event with this group so far?
“Yes indeed. I’ve often been told that when I speak about Team RWB my face and my energy light up – they can see how truly passionate I am about this organization. As for choosing a favorite activity/event, well, that’s challenging. They’re all great in different ways. With that said, each of them have something in common that I witness and experience every time. It’s actually what gets me fired up! That is our #EagleEthos: Passion – we care more, we work harder, and we share our story. People – veterans and community drive everything we do. Positivity – don’t ignore the challenges, we just stay positive and attack them. Commitment – we are dedicated to each other, our mission, and our communities. Camaraderie – we improve lives through genuine, personal relationships. Community – this is what we are building…at every level.”
Jill Orr & Navy Veteran Justin Moore
If a veteran is searching for camaraderie in his/her community, why would you suggest Team RWB?
“I highly suggest any veteran seeking camaraderie to get involved with Team RWB because it’s such an incredibly welcoming community where people feel part of the team. Veterans have often commented they have found the camaraderie that they had been seeking since they left the military. Be it through one of our many physical or social activities or having coffee one-on-one, we help create authentic connections and engage our members in a meaningful team and community-based experience where trust is built. We look out for one another. Simply put, we have each other’s back.” (Membership is free for everyone and veterans receive a free RWB t-shirt.)
On the other hand, if a civilian was also looking for the same, why would you recommend Team RWB?
“I recommend Team RWB to civilians for many of the same reasons as I do veterans. We’re about being inclusive – everyone is welcome. In fact, having civilians actively participate in activities and interact with veterans in turn helps our veterans integrate more successfully back into their communities. And you can pick and choose which activities you’d like to participate in depending on your interests, abilities, and schedule. Just being together and connecting with others matters.”
Civilians Jill Orr & Shellee Bosworth showing support with Team RWB’s Old Glory Relay National Fundraiser. *Photo courtesy of Ray Weeks. http://oldgloryrelay.org/old-glory-relay
THANK YOU Jill for your time, and as a member of Team RWB, I appreciate all you do with this inspiring organization. As a civilian, I enjoy how welcomed I am at these events. It is a wonderful way for me to connect with veterans. Although I do not consider myself an athlete, because of the Team’s saying, “It’s about the journey, not the finish line,” I participate. For those of you who do not have 4th of July plans, check out Team RWB’s website for scheduled events.
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS & SERVICE MEMBERS FOR KEEPING AMERICA SAFE. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!