Charles Rubio

Daily Point of Light # 4517 May 31, 2011

Give an Hour Lyman Ward Military Academy, a small military boarding school for students from sixth grade through twelve, is twenty minutes away. Charles spends one morning a week seeing cadets for mental health and behavioral issues and is always on call for them. “A good number of these children come from military families and have issues because of moving around so much and having parents deploy more than once. My wife’s father was in the military so she gives me insights that I myself might not have about what they go through.”
Dr. Charles Rubio is a clinical psychologist who has spent years serving the military community in and around Auburn, Alabama and Fort Bening where more than 120,000 active-duty military, family members, reserve component soldiers, retirees, and civilian employees live and work. “I came here in the 80’s to enter private practice and never left because I liked the area so much, “Charles says. One of his many services to veterans is working with Auburn University to help veterans returning to school. “A colleague of mine has created a bridge program for student veterans so that they can get to know each other and better prepare for their entry or return to academia. It’s critical to get these soldiers off to a strong start.”
Charles heard of Give an Hour, a nonprofit organization that provides free mental health services for U.S. military personnel and families affected by the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, through email over three years ago and immediately signed up to offer pro bono support. “I often charge a sliding scale anyway for these guys and gals, and always keep time open for my Give an Hour work,” he shares. He often gets to know the military families in the community through wives of soldiers who come to him with anger management issues. “At first I see the spouse and then if all goes well, we progress to couples therapy. The adjustments post deployment can be huge for these young couples.”
Most of Charles’ clients are young people, including high school and college aged students but he has also counseled the occasional older veteran. “I worked with a Vietnam Veteran in his sixties. He contacted me because I had worked with his daughter in the past. It seems he was at a bank one day and the teller was giving him the runaround, and suddenly he felt an overwhelming rage. Then he began to have flashbacks. The veteran said, “I had no idea that I would remember half this awful stuff.”
Charles is an ardent supporter of Give an Hour. He commits to sharing his time and talent with others with the belief: “These folks do so much for us, at the very least we should give them the help they need.”