Day 11

Another zero day. I really needed to dry my gear so once the sun popped out around noon, I spent the afternoon drying and cleaning my gear. I made a few adjustments to the canoe as well. We’ll see how things play out tomorrow on the river.

I explored some more and while I was checking out the little museum at the visitors center, the curator informed me that the radio DJ I’m camped next to has been giving reports on my activity. I couldn’t help but laugh! Thank goodness I wasn’t doing anything weird out there that early in the morning! Thanks KAXE for making me semi famous in Grand Rapids…😂!

The radio station KAXE.
I need this!
My new pillow. Sleeping like a true Minnesota lumberjack now!

On a different note, I’m a little worried about this fundraiser. I haven’t made any progress in quite sometime. I certainly have people out there making real efforts to promote it though. Every chance I get I  hand out a brochure and my card. I really don’t know how to conduct a fundraiser. It’s even harder when you’re in the wilderness for periods of time.  I try to reach out to towns further down the river but I don’t usually get a reply. I guess so many people are paddling for a cause. One charity is no better than another but Homes For Our Troops really does create something special for disabled veterans and their families. It’s physical. You can see the outcome versus research or programs that may or may not be effective. 

The men and women on the waiting list for a new wheelchair accessible home paid a very heavy price during their tour of duty.  I certainly don’t mind shedding a little more of my blood, sweat, and tears to help them live a more comfortable life and maybe relax a little.

I really don’t want to talk about myself, but if it helps motivate someone to donate a couple of dollars to my fundraiser, I will.

Last year, I fell into a deep depression. (I have PTSD) I quit master barber school and pretty much locked myself inside my apartment. With the help of a friend I sought treatment. Went to the psych ward for a couple of weeks and then a cognitive therapy program that only compounded my depressive state.  Needless to say, a few months later I got evicted. I couldn’t get help from the VA because I was dropped from my primary care physicians panel after not seeing her for 2 years.  Even though I had a an emergency surgery within that time frame, I still got dropped. The social workers at the Nashville VA wouldn’t lift finger to help until I got a new Dr. That took 3 months. Anyway, basically, I’ve been homeless ever since. I was able to stay somewhere, but it wasn’t my home. Right now, I’m on this trip and just living life as it hits me everyday. I still don’t really know what I’m going to do once this is over. I should have a little money saved up unless disaster strikes.  But that’s the future.

Despite my hardships, I still want to help my fellow veterans and soldiers that need better homes. They’ve been through hell and deserve an upgrade in the quality of their lives!😉

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