Blog

April 24, 2018

Going through all the gear seeing what survived the winter outside and what didn’t. So far just the inflatable pillow didn’t make it.

I have the website on the side of the kayak in 2″ letters. I need to buy the stickers to make Mission22 in 3″ letters.

Cut down an oak tree yesterday and started cutting it up to fit wood stove. Started cutting up more today but both chainsaws went out of commission. So much for helping my girlfriend before i leave.

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April 13, 2018

Good news!

I am launching from Watch Hill RI on May 5th. Don’t know the time yet but i am heading to Mystic CT.

Looking to go to Seaport for combo event of talking about expedition kayaking and Mission22 fundraiser.

Waiting to hear back from Mystic Seaport on if they will let me.

March 31, 2018

Mission22 the book.

Magnus Johnson founder of Mission22 wrote abouy why he started ElderHeart and Mission22.

There was one section I found most interesting. It talked about how we are all community. Hiw we all have a part in the care and treatment of veterans.

We all pay taxes and as such we all fund the war through the Defense budget which comes out of the taxes pay. So we all pay to send these men and women into harms way so we are all responsible in that way.

I learned from watching a show that the Veterans Administration budget is seperate from the Defense budget. So while we spend plenty to wage war we do not allocate enough to pay for the results of that war. This is not only a great imbalance but its not fair to us that serve(d).

Because of this a number of organizations has formed to help close the gap from the Veterans Administration being underfunded.

Therefore we have to look to you for funding as you inadvertently created the problem. This includes veterans themselves as we also pay taxes.

So since we have a community issue how do we solve it?

We need to welcome home our troops. We need to make them feel we apreciate their service and welcome them home. We need to invite them to be part of the community to give them gainful employment. Invite them to participate in local events.

This helps them to transition into civilian life and makes them feel appreciated. You will not find a better worker than a veteran.

While I served during Viet Nam I didn’t go in country. However, I have been treated the same way as my brothers and sisters. We have a saying NEVER FORGET so that all future veterans will not have to endure what we did.

This war has gone on longer than any other. We are all tired of it and there appears no end to it. But we are still paying for it and we still have the responsibility to our men and women returning home.

I know a number of you following this blog are more interested in my epic journey but my main focus is to the mission, Mission22, and to raise awareness and funds for veterans in need. I please ask you to spread the word share this blog through your social media. We still lose 20+ veterans a day to suicide. These are fellow human beings, they are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mother and fathers, aunts and uncles and cousins. They are friends and neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances. They are part of the community. How can we just ignore the problem? Because in same way shape or form it affects each and everyone of us.

I am paddling this great distance to draw attention to myself so that I can then draw attention to the mission.

Thank you for reading this and please share.

March 28, 2018

Took the new kayak into open water for the first time yesterday.

It was suppose to be 10 kt winds NNW and 2 ft seas.

Should have been a nice easy paddle from Wareham to Marion Harbor a distance of 12 – 13 nm.

It started out with light winds less than 1 ft chop. Once I got out of the river into open water, the wind picked up and the seas became the 2 feet.

When I approached Wings Cove the wind went over 15 kts and the seas were 4 feet. I had following seas most of the trip.

The kayak being empty rode high in the water and was subject to a turns i didn’t expect. The kayak handled the chop even the one or two broadsides easily. She maintained stability a forward motion gracefully.

I was impressed with her only short stall when I was straight on in a 4ft swell and as we peak reached center point she only slowed for 1 second then immediately responded to the paddle

I am comtiplating more stability when she is loaded.

March 2 and 3

Well we had a noreaster here yesterday. Most of the roads were covered in tree debris and some were closed due to down trees.

They are saying we might not have power for a few days.

No kayaking in this weather.

We had to stay in a hotel last night and they had limited power. No power or heat in rooms but they had hot showers and we got the last 2 extra blankets.

We got to use the pool last night.

Woke up to a hot continental breakfast, which was good to start the day.

I am glad I wasn’t on the trip yesterday it would have been bad. I would have been camping somewhere and soaked.

But, as we say we must adapt and improvise.

January 28th 2018

Living with ptsd

For thosev who have it you will understand those that don’t try to understand.

For those that don’t I ask how do you feel when you wake up? I get a number of answers. Then I say, as soon as i open my eyes I am in fear.

The looks I get run the gammet. Then they ask me to explain.

I tell them i am in fear that someone will ttigger me, not on purpose I know it will be accidental.

I am in fear of a noise, a word, the inflection in a voice, helicopters, even someone who looks familiar. By the end of the day I am exhausted but i can’t sleep until i can decompress which takes an hour or two. I normally wake up once or twice while sleeping.

People ask about my ptsd and suicide. I know this is a concern for those close to me. Some think my kayak trip is tempting fate. It takes a very strong person to deal with this daily. We have some days better than others and then there are the real bad days. For those of us who can understand what we are going through while its tough we will survive because the survival i stinct is strong in us.

I am on a mission and my mindset is failure is not an option so i will go to hell and back to complete my mission. I am focused and driven on my purpose. Sucess is paramount not for myself but for my family, my lovr and esdpecialky my brother and sister veterans who are hurting and need help.

For those who don’t have it please do not ask for specifics, the horrors and demons that caused it our things better left burried it is how we deal with it. I will talk in generalities to try to get you to understand but I avoid specifics. The hurt it causes is great and it takes a lot of work and suffering to come back. So be respectful of us.

If we get triggered we see images flashing in our heads that we buried and then all these different emotions hit at once. Our brains have changed and certain areas are hypersensetive which causes the flood of emotions.

I have 12 images that flash none are pretty some worse than others and when they start I can’t stop them nor the emotions that follow. Then it takes hours to get back to just being depressed.

When I am in my kayak on the ocean I am one with nature I am at peace and tranquil.

We ate trainedd to be strong for ourselves and others around us. There is a stigmatism that to ask for help is a sign of weakness. It is not it takes a much stronger person to ask for help.

Our minds are the most powerful tool we have. It can bring us back from the depths of hell or destroy us by allowing us to think everyone will be better off if we weren’t here.

Suicide is not a selfish act as some say. You are not thinking of your self but everyone else the pain they are in the hell they are going through. You think you will bring peace to those around you. Wrong you will bring them guilt and grief. Guilt that they couldn’t figure how to help you and grief becsuse you have left a hole in their heart. So if you are contimplating suicide change your mindset ask for help understand that it isn’t the right choice. You have value and purpose in life to be there for others. You will not be the person you were before it happened but you still can be a better person than you are now. You need to fight to live for your family. Fight to get help so you have help overcoming your demons at least so you are in command not them.

Thsnk you for listening and trying to understand.

We are at 20/day we believe one is too many. Join us in our mission.