SAN ANTONIO – Months after the disappearance of Andreen McDonald, one local search and rescue group hasn’t given up faith.
“It was a group decision to come up with the name Chain Breakers,” said Robert Green, a member of Chain Breakers Search and Rescue and Domestic Violence Assistance. “We deal with domestic violence, runaways and missing persons. The motto is to let people know that they can break away from any horrible situation, they are dealing with. We give them an option or a way out.”
Green said the group developed about three months ago when McDonald’s case came up.
“I got drawn to the case because I was a military brat, and being retired, I had that connection,” Green said. “It is a military person, Andre McDonald, Andreen’s husband, involved in the situation, and then you have the spouse, as well. Not only that but (also) their child.”
Green said he joined the U.S. Air Force but ended his military career in the Army after he was injured during a deployment. He was also very active with sports, which is why he said he was in a dark place dealing with his injuries.
“I was wondering what I am going to do now with my injuries and stuff like that because things were not the same,” Green said. “From PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to TBI, which is a traumatic brain injury.”
He eventually started playing adaptive sports, but he wanted to do more for the sake of helping others.
“Being able to serve my country and stuff like that, and now that that part is over, so to speak, of not being in the military, now this is another way I can serve my community,” Green said. “It may seem like the case has died down for Andreen, but we want to keep it going to let her family know we haven’t given up and we are not going to.”
Rae Anne Carlisle is another member of Chain Breakers. Her story starts with an abusive relationship in her past.
“I am a single mom of four kids,” Carlisle said. “Because of Andreen, it became my driving passion to be a part of this group”
Carlisle said her children is what drove her to get out of her violetn relationship.
“I became strong when I used to not be so much,” Carlisle said. “Everybody needs to know there is always a way out and there is a way out, and that transition time is the hardest and the most dangerous.”
She said going through those hard times helps her help others dealing with the same struggle.
“You do feel trapped and dependent and somewhat lost if you don’t have some support to move forward and break free,” Carlisle said. “It is a heartbreaking cycle, but there is a way out.”
Nina Glass, another member of Chain Breakers, said she also left an abusive relationship, but her passion for children is what drives her to be a member.
“When I left that relationship, I decided that my best option was to give back to kids,” Glass said. “So I worked with the Judson Jr. Rockets for 20 years and actually retired recently.”
Glass said knowing Andreen McDonald's daughter is still without her mother motivates her.
The group is made up of seven members that brainstorm about searches often.
“We normally do video calls, believe it or not, up until 10 or 11 o’clock at night, discussing maps and things like that,” Glass said. “We are like family.”
The group said Andreen’s case has impacted their lives.
“It’s really hard when you end a search and haven’t found her, so we got to be there for each other. At the end of a search, we just sit on the back of a pickup to decompress," Glass said. For the last 15 minutes of the search, we talk about it. We have cried about it. We have done everything about it. We have thrown fits. We have fought about it. We want to find her.”
The Chain Breakers is planning a large search Sunday, asking for the help of community members.
They are scheduled to meet at the CVS on Blanco and Huebner roads starting at 8 a.m. to begin phase one of a three-part search they hope to have. They are also working closely with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, hoping to provide detectives on this case with more evidence that could lead to Andreen.
If you are interested in helping with the search, visit their Facebook page at The Chain Breakers Search and Rescue and Domestic Violence Assistance.