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Andrew Walan's Fundraiser:

Veteran Voyage 360 - Operation Phoenix (OPPHX)

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BENEFITING: TASK FORCE DAGGER FOUNDATION

ORGANIZER: Josh

Andrew Walan

THE STORY:

Josh Collins wrote -

The underlying story behind this venture lies in SFC (R) Josh Collins' personal struggle with TBI and PTSD. He is a U.S. Army Special Operations combat Veteran with 7 rotations to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, along with numerous other deployments around the globe in support of the War on Terror. Moreover, Josh is a Wounded Warrior with 4 documented Traumatic Brain Injuries with loss of consciousness from explosive blast, 2 by parachute landing falls, and 1 more from combatives training. After he retired in December of 2008, Josh continued to support the military as a contractor both stateside and abroad. But it was while leading a training exercise in 2013 that he sustained a final major concussion, and complete with a fractured nose, ribs, and cervical spine compression that dropped him over the edge. Driving on with the Doctor’s prescribed medications, but also self-medicating with alcohol, he reached the limits of his ability to function. He was finally hospitalized for over 3 months in the James A Haley VA Polytrauma Unit in Tamp, FL. for sustained TBI therapy, and was subsequently medically retired again as a civilian. Not one to quit, this series of events, saving his life, marriage, and family has rekindled a new fire. After the hospitalization, his wife Tonia purchased him a Stand-up paddleboard for recreational therapy to assist in the prolonged recovery. It was on the water again that Josh found a sanctuary. Severe vestibular (inner ear) damage, nerve damage and palsy in his right eye, and cervical spine compression now fused, left him continuously off balance on dry ground, but the rolling surf calmed all this and in his words, “Everything holds still when I’m on the water.” Having nearly lost it all, he is now determined to make a difference in helping other Veterans navigate these perilous waters of life after combat; Veteran Voyage 360.

This is the first step of a 3 year project to raise $22,000,000 toward the treatment and recovery for Veteran's Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and in support of the Task Force Dagger Foundation Initiatives. During this time period Veteran Voyage 360 will conduct 4 long range and record breaking over water expeditions by small human powered craft, and culminating in a solo 27,000 mile circumnavigation of the globe nonstop and unsupported. This represents the longest journey a soldier takes as he or she separates from the military after service in combat, and transitions into civilian life. Regardless of the length of service, whether 4 years or 24 years, returning to normal life can be a difficult struggle, and especially for those suffering from the physical and psychological wounds of war. The past 14 years of sustained combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have taken its toll on this all volunteer Army, and the biggest indicator of this is the historically high suicide rate throughout the services. The number of soldiers and veterans taking their own lives now accounts for more than 10 times the number of casualties overseas.

The 4 expeditions that our scheduled over the next 16 months are:

Oct 9-18, 2015 - 300 Miles open water by Kayak - The NC Blackbeard Challenge

Mar 2 - Apr 3 2016 - 1200 Miles open water by Rowboat - The FL Ultimate Challenge

May 1 - Sep 1 2016 - 4880 Miles (Guinness World Record) by SUP/stand up paddleboard - Montana to New Orleans down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers

Jan 1, 2017 - Jul 1, 2018 - 27,000 Miles by Ocean Rowing Boat - Veteran Voyage 360

Our first expedition style event is the North Carolina Blackbeard Challenge, and for this we are raising $8,000.

The final mission is to complete a first ever nonstop, unassisted, manpowered voyage by small vessel around the world (over 27,000 miles) in under 18 months. The purpose of this operation is to significantly increase awareness and resourcing for veteran brain related injury and illness treatment and recovery. Josh’s vision is simple, to accomplish a record setting voyage that is both dangerous and epic as a demonstration of resolve and sacrifice in support of the 24 million plus veterans of this nation. Moreover, to put a stop/loss on the 22 Veteran-a-day suicide statistic that currently plagues the nation as a result of these wounds. This voyage represents the long journey a soldier or sailor takes when separating or retiring from the military. It is often difficult, sometimes arduous, and most certainly something that feels very lonely and taking years to complete. For Josh personally, this voyage is the ultimate triumph over “disability”, the diagnoses, the meds, the alcohol, the pain, and the loss. This is his way of grieving, and to support those who may have even more to grieve. The end state is a successful first-ever circumnavigation of the globe by a small man powered boat, and $22 million raised during the 18 month long voyage for the Task Force Dagger Foundation initiatives, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing immediate assistance to wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers and their families, and the families of casualties from the United States Army Special Operations Command.

Please follow our progress each step of the way on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/veteranvoyage360

Thank you for your support!

$450

MONEY RAISED
  • Andrew Walan

    $400

  • Karl Myers

    $50

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Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $220,062 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM
Fundraiser Title

Josh Collins

Amount Raised

$217,377

 

99% Raised of$220,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Christopher Campagna

Amount Raised

$550

Fundraiser Title

Andrew Walan

Amount Raised

$450

Fundraiser Title

Paul Brown

Amount Raised

$410

Fundraiser Title

Carman Kobza

Amount Raised

$250

Fundraiser Title

Quiet Professionals

Amount Raised

$200

 

20% Raised of$1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Dave Winters

Amount Raised

$155

Fundraiser Title

Team Clem

Amount Raised

$155

 

31% Raised of$500 Goal

Donor Comments

Karl Myers

Karl Myers

DONATION: $50

For all our brothers. 4 years ago

Andrew Walan

Andrew Walan

DONATION: $400

5 years ago