News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Army vet on ICW paddleboard journey from Texas to New York

Date Posted: 2016-05-11
Source: Miami Herald

Video: Operation Phoenix: One man, Josh Collins, and his journey to raise awareness and funds for those suffering from TBI and PTSD.

A former U.S. Army Delta Force officer continues to paddle-board 3,500 miles from Corpus Christi to New York City to raise awareness and money for veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury. If you're cruising the Florida East Coast and north, keep an eye out for Josh Collins – he's on a camouflage-colored paddle-board wearing an olive-green hat. Please give him a gentle pass – or perhaps a bottle of water, snack, or bed for the night. From a Miami Herald article:

When Josh Collins is on dry land, he feels like he’s at sea. Walls move, as if they are rolling in the waves. Floors tilt, as if they are the deck of boat.

During seven deployments to Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, Collins, a former U.S. Army Delta Force captain, sustained injuries to his brain, spine, inner ear and eyes that cause chronic balance and vision problems.

When Collins was undergoing therapy two years ago, his wife bought him a paddleboard. The first time he tried it, he got his equilibrium back. He discovered that when he is on the water, he feels like he’s on dry land.

“My world is always shifting, like I’m a sailor,” he said. “But when I’m on the board, everything holds still. The horizon is stable. I’m in rhythm with the motion of floating and paddling. It’s my sanctuary....”

Continue reading Miami Herald article: Army veteran has new mission: Paddleboarding 3,500 miles from Texas to New York.

To learn more about Josh Collins' fundraiser: Veteran Voyage 360 – Operation Phoenix, click here.

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