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  • Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

TITLE: FORMER ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS DELTA FORCE OPERATOR AND ARMY RANGER TO PADDLE BOARD FROM TEXAS TO NEW YORK TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR THE HIGH RATE OF SUICIDE AMONG SERVICEMEMBERS

DATE: May 23, 2016

Former Army Special Operations Delta Force Operator and Army Ranger Josh Collins has set his sights on completing the first ever nonstop, unassisted, manpowered voyage by small vessel around the world. Dubbed “Veteran Voyage 360” the first leg of his trip kicked off on March 5th paddling 3,500 miles on a Stand-Up Paddle Board from Corpus Christi, Texas and end in New York City at the end of July.  Collins is calling his trip along the East Coast “Operation Phoenix.”

His efforts have already been featured on the FOX News Channel:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4635815370001/veterans-unique-voyage-to-raise-awareness-of-war-wounds/?#sp=show-clips

The purpose of his trip is 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. Josh credits “Task Force Dagger Foundation” for helping to save his life, saying the foundation provided for his family while he was hospitalized, and helped him find treatment options for traumatic brain injury that allowed him to stop his reliance on a cocktail of prescription drugs.  

For Josh this voyage is the ultimate triumph over “disability”, the diagnosis, the medications, the alcohol, the pain and the loss. A former member of the elite US Army Delta Force and an Army Ranger, Josh deployed several times to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia. Josh is also a wounded warrior. He suffers from numerous Traumatic Brain Injuries. At first Josh had a rough time dealing with his injuries; a prisoner to prescription medications and self-medicating with alcohol, he eventually reached his limits and ability to function and was hospitalized for sustained TBI therapy.

After his hospitalization, his wife Tonia purchased him a Stand-up Paddle Board for recreational therapy.

It was on the water 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 him 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.  His mission is to raise $22 Million dollars with this Guinness World Record, the “Longest Journey by Stand Up Paddleboard”, and also with the Global Row thereafter

He will be in Wrightsville Beach on June 11th and will be at Wrightsville SUP for a rally beginning at 4pm. Please contact Tonia Collins to link up with Josh and schedule an interview.

CONTACT: TONIA COLLINS: 910 633 9758 / joshcollins@msn.com

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/veteranvoyage360/

TWITTER:   @OPPHX1                                           

WEBSITE:  http://www.veteranvoyage360.com/  (THIS WEB SITE WILL HAVE A “SPOT” TRACKER)

https://www.boteboard.com/operation-phoenix/ 

 

To see a detailed list of Josh’s schedule please check out his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/veteranvoyage360/

 

For more background on Josh’s journey please click here:

https://www.boteboard.com/operation-phoenix/

 

 

ABOUT TASK FORCE DAGGER:

http://www.taskforcedagger.org

Task Force Dagger Foundation provides assistance to wounded, ill, or injured US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) members and their families. We respond to urgent needs, conduct Recreational Therapy Events, and provide next-generation health solutions for issues facing our service members. We are a rally point to combat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), and environmental exposures. Our cohesive programs enable families to seize the moment and live life.