My name is Thomas Skinner. I am a US Army veteran currently raising awareness about a very real wound called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with my service dog “Scrubs”. I am reaching out to veterans and their families in an extraordinary way. My goal is not only to help veterans understand PTSD, but also to help civilians understand the stigma attached to the diagnosis of PTSD. No person is quite the same after serving in the military and many carry the invisible scars of duty for a lifetime.
Last year I rode my bicycle 4,012 miles from San Diego, California to the National Center for PTSD in Vermont. Along the way, I gave my formal presentation entitled “What Comes After Welcome Home” to churches, civic groups, businesses, museums, and colleges as well as being featured in newspaper articles, local television news, and a main feature on National Public Radio. I am thankful for my sponsors PlanetBike, and Performance bike for the amazing support and supplies on last year’s Awareness Adventure.
This summer, for “Awareness Adventure 2013”, I will be canoeing 2,552 miles down the Mississippi River from the headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana to again call attention to PTSD. I will give my presentation along the way in numerous towns and cities as i travel down river raising awareness about PTSD and the stigma attached. Media outlets, businesses and corporate sponsors will be an integral part of helping me spread the word and raise more awareness for understanding PTSD.
An adventure of this magnitude requires the support of many individuals and groups. My first major supporter, and now the program management, is the United Church of Christ of La Mesa, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in La Mesa, CA. All funding, support and donations are managed through them and are tax deductible.
As a business person or concerned individual, you may be in the position to show your support for this project by adding your donation of money, equipment or supplies. Corporate sponsors are also necessary for the larger items that will be required to complete my mission down the Mississippi. My committee can work with you in many ways to spread the word about your involvement. I really need your support for this incredible mission. Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated by all of us; Thomas Skinner, the United Church of Christ of La Mesa and by the thousands of Veterans and related Civilians that will be touched by our mission.