Twenty years serving our great country in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia; Collins retired from the United States military in 2008. This was not to be just any retirement though; but one that was riddled with struggles, anger, random outbursts and frustration.
Life had grown steadily more difficult for Collins as he struggled with TBI Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Prescriptions drugs and drinking had taken their toll, as Collins hit rock bottom.
The turning point came in 2014 when Collins was hospitalized for three months at a VA facility – for a major TBI/concussion (his 8th and 9th). Josh credits “Task Force Dagger” for helping to save his life; saying the foundation provided for his family while he was hospitalized, and they helped him find treatment options for TBI that allowed him to stop his reliance on this cocktail of prescription drugs that he had become far too reliant on. It was during that time in the hospital when Josh Collins knew he had to do something more, something significant, an idea where he could stretch the boundaries. “I refused to accept that life as I once had known it was over, and that I was to (according to the doctors instructions), Go home, be happy, and just live,” he says.
STRETCH THE BOUNDARIES HE DID, “I’M GOING TO ROW AROUND THE WORLD, SOMETHING THAT’S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. IT’S DANGEROUS, IT’S EPIC – PEOPLE DIE DOING THIS,”
SAYS JOSH COLLINS.
Collins is paddle boarding 3,500 miles along the coast from Corpus Christi, Texas to New York City. I had Collins on our radio show to talk us through his journey, you can hear that interview here: ‘This is Real Life‘. On the show Josh talks about his encounters with sharks, crocodiles and such.
“I wanted to raise awareness for the 22 veterans a day who commit suicide, while at the same time raise money for the “Task Force Dagger Foundation” – which supports veterans with TBI and PTSD. I want these vets to know that there are alternative forms of treatment out there, and groups like Task Force Dagger are there for them and their families.”
The Next Leap Forward
I call it the ‘silent life stealer’. PTSD is a game changer. There are a myriad of symptoms, it’s not easy to diagnose and it is probably one of the leading causes of suicide. Fact is, there are millions of Americans suffering with PTSD that haven’t a clue – and the military component is only one aspect of it friends. Law enforcement, EMT, emergency personnel throughout the healthcare system, traffic accident victims and folks who have been through some very traumatic event in their lives – suffer with PTSD. They get to a point of their life where they think they have no purpose to survive, let alone thrive for a healthy and fulfilling life.
It’s finding that PURPOSE again that can transition one from a life of hell to a life that is most rewarding. Let’s face it friends – we all must have a purpose to get up in the mornings. There is no greater reward in life than to have purpose.
Please help him with his goal to raise 22 million greenbacks for our military heroes. Here is his website, and also a link to VETERAN VOYAGE 360 – OPERATION PHOENIX on crowdrise.
– go there and put 50 bucks on the table. Josh Collins is an American Hero for a host of reasons. More importantly, he is now an America Hero with PURPOSE!