3,545,433 paddles… (give or take) that is the number that Josh Collins is literally striving toward in his “Operation Phoenix” quest. Randall Reed’s Planet Ford in Humble (serving Houston, Humble, Atascocita, Kingwood) is proud to support and be part of this journey. This is one that will test his strength, stamina, and determination. It’s one he has been training months for and begins this March.
Operation Phoenix is Mr. Collin’s 3,500-mile SUP expedition from Texas to the Statue of Liberty. He is making the trip in an effort to raise both money and awareness for his fellow veterans. Completing the journey will be a victory on multiple levels.
Two years ago, Mr. Collins was going through darkest time of his life, but The Task Force Dagger Foundation offered solutions that helped saved his life and his family. “My project Veteran Voyage 360 is purposed to raise awareness and resources for what they are doing,” he said.
The name of the voyage is based on his struggle and overcoming it. In an interview, he said, “I’m rising from the ashes and starting over.” During Mr. Collins time the US Army he served with Special Forces. He suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries. However, it was a major concussion during a training accident in September 2013 that was the final straw.
He said that his life, personality and behavior changed. He was put on medications, but he also began drinking. He life and family ere falling apart. The medications seemed to make matters worse. To top it off, his brain injuries make him feel the world was always moving.
Then one day, something happened to change the path of Mr. Collins world. he attempted to find that balance on a standup paddle board. “When I get on a paddleboard, it is the difference between being in a dark room and flipping the lights on. The horizon is suddenly flat again and I don’t feel any of the movement when I’m on the water.” Now, he will take to those waters and travel miles in hopes of helping others to get the help they need to move forward.
“Instead of just being on a dozen different prescription meds, and ‘living’ out my life, Task Force Dagger put me through programs that have completely changed my prognosis, and moving in a positive direction of recovery,” Mr. Collins shared. “I am now only on required/essential meds, and no/zero pain, psychotropic, or sleep medications.”
Want to know more? Learn about Operation Phoenix. Find out about Mr. Collins’ long-term goal, Veteran Voyage 360. And, you’re invited to aid in raising funds to support veterans struggling with TBI and PTSD. To learn more about Planet Ford in Humble, a supporting sponsor, visit www.PlanetFord59.com.