This year, starting in the beginning of June, I’m going to solo paddle the Mississippi River. I need to do a little soul-searching. Recently, several things have come to be in my life and I really need to turn things around.
Honestly, I’ve been struggling for the past 10 years to find my place in the world after leaving the military. I served 4 years with the Marine Corps and another 8 years with the Army. Somewhere along the way I developed PTSD and a major depressive disorder. Last year I was evicted from my home in Nashville after a severe bout of depression hit. Thanks to the kindness of family and friends I have had a place to stay, but it’s not ideal. I need to get my mind straight and get back on my own two feet. I figured there’s no better way to solve personal issues than a long, solo adventure.
Currently, I’m in the preparation stage. You know, getting in shape, collecting gear and information. Luckily, quite a few folks have done this trip before, so it’s easy figuring out what I need to absolutely have.
If I can figure it out I’m also going to set up a fundraiser to raise a decent donation to a charity that has helped one of my best buds who was severely injured in Iraq. I’ll have more information on that later.
In the meantime, if anyone feels like supporting me a little on this trip, I do have a little bit of artwork for sale. Just go to http://www.bennie-giles.pixels.com to see my art and purchase something!!