I have decided to take myself off the Appalachian Trail and not continue my hike. If you have been following my journey you know that I injured my hip early in the hike and sought medical advice. Eventually my doctor told me that it would be all right to continue. I got back on the Trail and the pain returned. I decided to grit my teeth and push on hoping, perhaps irrationally, that the pain would diminish. I did not tell anyone about this pain. Some days were worse than others. Prescription NSAID's (anti-inflammatory medications) became a daily part of my diet. And after almost a month of this I have decided that enough is enough and I don't want to cripple myself for life. In the time I was out there I covered almost 300 miles through five states. I met some amazing people, saw some amazing scenery and had some amazing adventures. I do not regret having done it; my only regret is that my 69-year-old body would not allow me to continue. I know I was successful in my mission to increase awareness of veterans struggling with PTSD. I spoke with countless people I met on the Trail including numerous veterans. I passed out cards and in return received e-mails with thanks and blessings for what I was doing as well as donations. I was afforded the opportunity twice to speak to large gatherings about PTSD and the response from these events was truly touching. One of the biggest gifts from my time on the Trail is an increased awareness of the fact that everything happens for a reason or as a woman I met on the Trail put it "Humans plan and God laughs." So I am off the Trail but still on the mission. Now I must figure out a new way to continue to spread the word about this terrible disease that afflicts over one million veterans. I have some ideas percolating but I am going to take a little while for my body to heal. I want to thank you for your support in the past and what I hope will be your continuing support in the future.
God bless our veterans
Mike is a 69 year old Vietnam veteran. He will be hiking the Appalachian Trail beginning in April 2016 to try to raise awareness of veterans struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and to raise money to donate to Warrior Expeditions an organization that provides equipment and support to veterans struggling with PTSD so they can hike the Appalachian Trail and other National Foot Trails.
Please check out the site and do what you can to help veterans who are struggling to put war behind them and get on with their lives.
The Appalachian Trail is 2180 miles long and reaches from Maine to Georgia.
The main reason for the walk is to raise awareness and funds for Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Please consider donating below to help us.
This walk is inspired by Earl Shaffer, one of the first Vets to make the walk.
Earl V. Shaffer (November 8, 1918 - May 5, 2002), was an American outdoorsman and author. Shaffer enlisted in the army in 1941, was well along in his training at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, and did arduous and risky service as a forward-area radioman in the South Pacific into 1945. His friend Winemiller served in the Pacific Theater as well, and died in the Iwo Jima landings. Shaffer said he regarded completing the planned AT hike as a way of recovering from the stress of his combat experiences and from the loss of friends who died in the war. In 1948, he began the journey from Mt. Oglethorpe, in Georgia (the trail's southern end at that time). With sparse equipment that would be regarded as grossly inadequate by most of the through-hikers since - he used worn boots, his army rucksack, and no stove or tent - he reached Mt. Katahdin in Maine, in 124 days. Taken from Wikkipedia.
Click Here to see those who have donated so far.
Deb and Ed Dudley
Jane Helwig (in memory of J.E. Johnson, USMC)
The B.A.T.'s in memory and honor of our Brother Corporal Billy Vaughn - U.S.M.C. Vietnam veteran
Gary and Barbara Bailin
Dayle Pabst Robertson
Tish Miller Venz Hudson
Victor E. Coto
|Micaela and Rick Reves|
Dan and Laura Grajzl
Marsha and Isaiah Blankson
Don Adams and Nan Bonfils for MJ
Mario and Sue Alemagno
Jan and Wayne Hipps
Rob, Erin, Eli and Sam MacNab
Julie and Steve Richard
Susan Harwell and Gary Moeller
Kim and Mario Rocchi