Understanding PTSD My Pilgrimage Living in the Moment

 Bicycle Travel Helps PTSD with Tom Skinner and PTSD  Service dog Scrubs

 

Tom Skinner and Service dog Scrubs travel by bicycle on  the big dummy made by surly bike co to the National Center for PTSD in vermont to raise awareness about PTSD

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Support from my Church UCC

UCC part of veteran’s mission, and journey on faith, to make life better for others

Written by Jeff Woodard
June 19, 2012

 Support of my Church, UCC

Click on above link to read full article

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Calling it Quits in Cleveland

Thomas Skinner UCC Cleveland OH

Thomas Skinner UCC Cleveland OH

This is not just a story about me riding my bicycle across the country. This is so much more. This is a story about people helping people from coast to coast. I have had countless people supporting me, encouraging me and thanking me for raising awareness about our military heroes living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as Scrubs and I cross the country on a bicycle.

I managed to make it all the way to Chicago before my knees finally drove me to seek some help at the VA hospital emergency room. I was supplied with two hinged knee braces. That seemed to give me some relief for a while. I managed to make it all the way to Cleveland, Ohio before my body just could not take it anymore. I had made up my mind that Cleveland was going to be my final destination. My knees were just too painful. Me, my bike, all of my gear and my service dog weighed 400 pounds.

Thomas Skinner Photo by Century Cycles

Century Cycles Link

Jay, Renee, Ron, and Thomas

Out of desperation I remembered some people that I had met in San Diego just days before my trip: Ron and Renee from New York City, and their friend Jay. I decided to drop them an email asking if they had any ideas on who could help me with a sag wagon. Just 24 hours later two heroes from NYC, Ron and Renee, had built a custom carbon fiber 8-speed bicycle geared just for the hills of Pennsylvania, using only a picture of me taken months ago to judge the size of the bicycle I would need. Sussex Bike and Sport Shop in Wantage, New Jersey donated supplies for our journey. With their truck packed and the bikes racked, Ron and Renee drove 8 hours to meet me in Ohio. In Ron’s own words, “Nobody quits in Ohio. Not on my watch. You have come too far to quit now.” Ron and Renee, along with so many others, have sent me such wonderful emails during my trip as they follow me via my blog/website.

Well, 230 miles later, here we sit in a wonderful B&B called The Inn on Maple Street in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania 2,720 miles from my home in San Diego. We’re having dinner with the B&B owners Sharen and Jay on the front porch of their 120-year old home. Ron and Renee have taken turns biking with me, and Scrubs is safe and sound riding in an air-conditioned truck as I get to ride through the Allegheny National Forest on a bicycle that weighs less than 20 pounds. My knees feel great and Ron and Renee are the best company I could have ever asked for. This is the sort of selflessness and generosity that I have could have never imagined in a million years, yet here I am in the company of heroes helping me to achieve my goal and to arrive on time with my PTSD service dog Scrubs to our final destination the National Center for PTSD located in Vermont on the 27th of this month.

The Inn on Maple Street, Port Allegany PA

 

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Understanding PTSD Memorial Day Bartlett, IL

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Memorial day 2012

This is the article that was in the Daily Harold in Chicago, IL. I feel so honored to be included in this national Holiday and to get such recognation about our mission Understanding PTSD

Click this link to read the article

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Thomas Skinner in Pontiac, IL Route 66 on a Bicycle

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Army Veteran Thomas Skinner Missouri Route 66

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Understanding PTSD WAND Chanel 17 News Springfield IL

WAND Chanel 17 News Springfield IL

Click on above link to view News Segement

Thomas skinner and Service dog Scrubs

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Thomas Skinner Fox News Understanding PTSD

UnderstandingPTSD Joplin MO

Click the link below to watch video

Fox News Video Thomas Skinner and PTSD Service dog Scrubs

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My Pilgrimage Across the United States

Challenge Accepted

 

My pilgrimage is about the support and love of old friends, and the making of new ones. It’s about taking the high road or the low road. It’s about learning from my mistakes when I have taken the wrong road.

It’s about the simple things that can only be seen when I slow down and live in the moment. It’s about not living in the past and not being in such a hurry to see what the future holds for me.

It really is about learning to just be happy in the moment.
It’s about doing something I didn’t know if I could really do, and doing it very well. 
It’s about the headwinds pushing me away, and the tailwinds going my way all day long

It’s about ice cream and the smell of honeysuckle—how it always seems to surprise my senses. It’s about cold water and hot coffee, the first shower in days, the smell of a campfire in my clothes from last night.   

It’s living in the weather: the high winds and the cold nights, the lightning off in the distance, the storm over the top of me, battering my tent, not letting me sleep.

My pilgrimage is about the loving words of support from my dear friends and the random acts of kindness from complete strangers. It’s learning forgiveness.

It’s not about the past as much as it is about the present: learning to live in the now, this very moment. 
It’s about the massive mountain I am climbing, one pedal, one breath, one heartbeat at a time. It’s about getting too sore down the other side.

 It’s life so live it now.
By Thomas Skinner

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Bath Time, Tulsa OK Understanding PTSD

 

Thomas Skinner Understanding PTSD Tulsa UCC

 

Free use of Bicycle

 

 

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NPR Studio Tulsa, OK Understanding PTSD

 

This is the link to The Full 30 minute NPR Radio Interview

 

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PTSD Awareness Adventure 2012 Stillwater OK

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Changes in my Bicycle Travel

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Lone Star State “PTSD Awareness Adventure 2012″

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