Veteran undertakes paddleboarding voyage for PTSD, TBI sufferers

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Every journey starts with the smallest move forward.

Each stroke for Josh Collins may take his paddleboard farther, but it’s bringing him closer to healing the scars of war.

  • Veteran Josh Collins suffers from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Collins now paddleboarding to raise awareness for veterans struggling with PTSD, TBI
  • Collins plans to cross three oceans on his journey

Josh says this journey started during his 3-month stay at the James A Haley Polytraumatic Unit in Tampa. There, he began to come to terms with his PTSD and the traumatic brain injury (TBI) he’d suffered.

“It was during that time that i really hit rock bottom and I wanted to find a way that I could give back,” said Collins.
 
With his body battered, bruised and broken from combat, this elite army warrior found himself unable to cope.

So his mission now: Veteran Voyage 360.

“I started this to kinda re-find myself,” said Collins, “but at the same time as a mission to help others to do that same thing. “

Collins plans to cross 3 oceans with little more than a polyurethane board separating him and nature, in a global quest for awareness of veterans who struggle with PTSD and TBI.

“This is Day 42, and I’ve gotten to the point of exhaustion this last week,” said Collins. “Everything hurts really bad right now. My hands are bruised. I’ve lost fingernails. The sea is not friendly. It’s not friendly at all.”

Collins has taken a recreational pastime and turned it into a life-changing event, a final mission of sorts. He’s risking his life out there doing this, but it’s serving not only as an inspiration to others, but also therapy for him.

“Every paddle stroke that i do, it’s got an important purpose,” said Collins, “and that’s for every veteran that’s struggling with PTSD and TBI.”

PTSD and TBI resources:

Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

Resource Locator

Self-Assessments

Self-Help

Bay News 9 – local-news

April 16, 2016 |

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