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post #1 of 14 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
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My vision

As a disabled veteran, I've been linking up with other vets in my area and teaching them to sail as a method of coping with PTSD whether it's to relax and kick back a few cold ones and talk, or them wanting to pursue a life of sailing. I've been talking with a few civilian friends of mine about a vision I have which is to find proper funding and skipper a boat consisting of a crew made up entirely of other disabled vets in the name of veteran suicide prevention. Sadly, 23 veterans a day take their lives and by introducing my brothers to sailing it's opened up a whole other world of enjoyment into their lives. As you can imagine, people tell me I'm crazy, that it can't be done and I'm irresponsible for wanting to take people "incapable" of handling themselves on such an adventure. I want to do it in a legitimate fashion, and I'm not going to be one of those people who is reckless and just sets a heading but I feel that's one of the reasons to try and make this a reality. All I hear about disabled vets is how we are "broken or damaged" and that we arent capable of doing certain things.bthe only people who thinks it's an amazing idea are other veterans. Regardless of what people think I will eventually make it happen. I told my wife that I'm going to sail around the world one day anyway so why not do it with brothers in arms and attempt to have something good come out of it and help raise awareness and show others that nothing is impossible.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-14-2015
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Re: My vision

I live in an area with lots of Vets and many of my patients are disabled Vets or their families who are dealing with the realities of PTSD. As such, I think that anything you can do to help provide an outlet for these folks is wonderful. I don't know a lot, but from what I can gather any way that folks dealing with PTSD can connect with others is a positive thing. Any activity can do this as it isn't the activity that is important but the connection with others in the process.

Just a couple thoughts....

Too many of our Vets, particularly those with PTSD, have substance abuse issues. As such, you might want to make your sailing outings or get togethers "dry" events.

Proper funding could be an issue. Simply put, not too many will be eager to fund what they might perceive as your sailing adventure. You may have better luck approaching an existing veteran's group with a proposal and seeing if they want to take the project under their umbrella. They will already have financing contacts, the non-profit status, and a board of directors that can ensure that it is handled properly. That would give you the opportunity to concentrate on the actual mission of the project instead of the financial details for which few of us are qualified. Bottom line, I think it is a good idea for a good cause. If you agree, it is a project that you could help initiate and support, even if it isn't you that is actually skippering the trip.

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-14-2015
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Re: My vision

As a DAV myself I applaud your effort. My only real problem nowadays is accessing VA services. Something to think about if you intend sailing far and wide with a DAV crew.


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post #4 of 14 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
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While many veterans do struggle with substance abuse, the ones I've taken out have been fortunate enough to not fight those demons. I've thrown the idea loosely around some vets about if they had the opportunity to sail around the world if they would be up for it. Without hesitation they all said yes. Veterans have skills that could be essential on a crew, such as a medic or corpsman, navigation, electronics tech, mechanic etc etc. outside of general local sailing if I were to be able to go round the globe I would want to do it in a fashion that isn't normally done. Say, the route that BT Global used to take with a mature sailors against prevailing eastbound. People tell me I'm nuts and will fail but, people also forget that a 16 year old has done it solo.while not an easy task by any means, a crew of combat veterans will not fail. The veteran groups I've spoken to all day the same thing "you're reckless and wabt to take men that have no business being on a boat in the ocean" . Screw that.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
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The crew that I would intend on taking would need to not be solely reliant on the VA.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
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Even if it wasn't me as the skipper I would insist that a veteran be in command.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-14-2015
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Re: My vision

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Originally Posted by DivingOtter View Post
As you can imagine, people tell me I'm crazy, that it can't be done and I'm irresponsible for wanting to take people "incapable" of handling themselves on such an adventure.
You are not crazy - you are trying to improve the lives of others, which is the best goal IMO.

Whilst your crew may be challenged by PTSD etc, having people around them that have similar experience maximises your chances of seeing when they need extra attention. Assuming that everyone has enough experience for their roles onboard, I don't see why this shouldn't be a safely-achievable goal. It's certainly extremely laudable. Good luck!
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-14-2015
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Re: My vision

A couple of thoughts, But first I would like to thank you for your service to our country, and that your idea is good and will probably be beneficial to many.

Some thoughts: If you are doing this for hire($$$) then will need to get a captains lic. - OUPV at a minimum. You also might want to see about hooking up with one of the sailing schools to become an instructor and work thru them - American Sailing Assoc. or US Sailing.

Good luck with your idea, and thank you again for your willingness to continue to give back to your fellow vets and country.

Peter
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
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As of right now this is not for hire. However, I've been thinking about the potential of a PTSD rehab clinic in sailing for. The main goal for this idea is to do something that's never been done before with brothers in arms to raise veteran suicide awareness. A round the world time trial with a crew of disabled veterans.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
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I have the time requirements to obtain a captains license which won't be an issue if and when that time comes.
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