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Listen to LIVE interview of Military to Medicine on Talking with Heroes-

www.TalkingWithHeroes.Com
Talk Show Program Schedule

Listen LIVE on the Internet

June 5, 2010 at 10:00am (EST)

To Listen LIVE or later 24/7 Go To: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/19487 Episode 152

Military to Medicine
Inova Health System
Suite 610-West
8110 Gatehouse Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

http://www.militarytomedicine.org
http://www.inova.org/careers

Host: Bob Calvert

Guests:

Daniel Nichols:


· Executive Director at Military to Medicine (Inova Health System)
· Lieutenant at US Navy Reserve

Having served in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Chaplain and deployed in support of OIF in 2003, and having served in the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, he transitioned to a recruiting and technology role at Inova Health System, which has supported him in launching a new national military family service organization called: Military to Medicine.

Colleen Saffron:

· Outreach Specialist Military to Medicine
· Prior – Founder and Executive Director of Operation Life Transformed

Colleen Saffron is the wife of not only an active duty soldier but also a soldier who was severely wounded in combat, during his deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on May 5, 2004.

She is intimately acquainted with the unique challenges the families of the war wounded are facing. She has, since the date of her husband’s injury, managed to care for him and her 3 children while also completing her online education to graduate with honors.

Kristina Saul :

· Outreach Specialist Military to Medicine
· Prior- National Outreach Program Manager for Operation Life Transformed

Kristina is the wife of a Chief of the US Naval Reserve Force- Full Time Support with 25 years of Service. They have been a Geographical Military Family, living apart since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Along with her Volunteer duties as a 3 Time Certified Navy Family Ombudsman and Outreach Specialist for M2M. She is the mother of 2 young children, one with Special Needs.
Kristina is also a 2 time cancer survivor who will be celebrating being 1 year cancer free December of 2010.

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Visit Military to Medicines Web Site and Join the Social Network

Greetings,

Last month, you were introduced to Military to Medicine, a program that provides online healthcare training and employment opportunities for military spouses, wounded warriors and their caregivers, Veterans, National Guard, Reserve and their spouses, and service members transitioning to civilian employment.

Today, Military to Medicine is excited to tell you that our new Web site – http://www.militarytomedicine.org – is up and running! On the site visitors can learn more about Military to Medicine, apply for courses online or even join the Talent Exchange, our social networking site – created especially for the military community that is interested in a healthcare career. As students who have experienced the online learning environment, we encourage you to join our network and stay connected to the instructors and contacts you have made. The link is directly on the home page under the word Ning.

To participate:

1. Visit http://www.militarytomedicine.org
2. Link to the social network found on the word Ning on the home page.
3. Sign up for Military to Medicine’s Talent Exchange social network in the top right corner of the Ning site.

With your participation, Military to Medicine’s Talent Exchange social networking site will be the one stop source for the military community to connect with other healthcare students, professionals, recruiters and healthcare employers. If you have any questions about Military to Medicine, please let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Lastly, M2M is expanding our attendance at military events to include, yellow ribbon re-integration programs, career fairs, FRG meetings, Pre-deployment briefs, OMBUDSMAN conferences, spouse nights, TAPS, indoctrinations and much more.
Please feel free to contact the following team member below for any questions.

Kristina Saul- Outreach Specialist- kristina.saul@militarytomedicine.org – 770-356-0086- Marketing Materials and Questions

Kristina Saul
Outreach Specialist
Military to Medicine
Kristina.Saul@militarytomedicine.org
770-445-5286- Desk
770-356-0086-Cell
http://www.militarytomedicine.org

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About Military to Medicine, video with Daniel Nichols – M2M CEO

Find more videos like this on Talent Exchange

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The Birth of Military to Medicine

Visit Military to Medicine’s blog site on Ning- www.militarytomedicine.org

Military to Medicine was born on a blistering evening in the barren desert lowlands that stretch between Kuwait and Iraq. The young Marine was not the first and would not be the last, but his story was symptomatic of more than a thousand shared with me in confidence during the days following the US’s initial military operations into Iraq in 2003.

He was a young Marine and this was his first experience of war. Thousands of miles away, his young wife had given birth to a new daughter whom he had never seen apart from a few photos sent in post. Unlike others in the area, he was part of a detachment in a remote landing zone that didn’t have satellite connection to the outside world, so calls were few and electronic communication nonexistent.
The Marine clasped his hands in his lap. I could see them shaking slightly out of the corner of my eye as I read the scrawled sentence on the page before me. We were sitting behind a screen in the medic’s tent. I’m not a physician, nor a psychiatrist, and though trained as a counselor, I’m a chaplain first and so I struggled with the decision that lay before me that night. “I cannot stop myself from committing harm to myself or others.” His signature followed.

The marine was one of perhaps a dozen of the most difficult situations with which I was confronted during that time in the desert. But I can say with certainty that as combat operations have progressed over the last decade, the stories and life challenges I am confronted with have only grown more abundant and more severe. I made a decision that night in the desert, a commitment to stand for those that cannot stand for themselves. And on that promise I will not waver; on that premise I founded my part in what is now called Military to Medicine.

The young marine had been exposed to the horrors of war. He shared his story with me that night, along with his fears for a new wife and child, for the tense relationship between his separated parents, a financial crisis that was only being held at bay by the fact that he was deployed . . . He bore the weight of worlds. And he was struggling to cope with it. He’d been getting in to fights with his platoon members and placed into discipline for the third time in as many weeks. He couldn’t solve the problems at home and couldn’t see his way forward, and didn’t know where to turn.

I’d been able to connect with our legal officers who were working with his wife and creditors to keep them from being evicted from their apartment. He had been activated from the individual ready reserve, and lived in southern Texas, away from any military base. One phrase he said sticks with me to this day, “I don’t see any light chaps, only darkness ahead. When I get home. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have a job, I don’t have a way to take care of my family.” And then in a whisper, “but if I die out here at least she’ll get the insurance.”

I folded the paper in my hands, confirmed his permission one last time, and placed a hand on his shoulder for a moment before standing and walking out of the tent to the doctor and security detail waiting outside. They were going to drive him far south to the only available psychiatrist that could see him. It was the only thing I could think of at the time that might make a difference. I know better now.

Eight hours later, sleeping to troubled dreams in my tent I was awakened by a stern call from a familiar voice. “Chaplain, get up … we need you out here.” It was the Executive Officer of the unit making a personal call … never a good sign. We walked swiftly through the darkened camp, with the loud hum of generators, and the stench of burning diesel fumes. The ExO didn’t say much, only that the marine I’d seen earlier had been sent back that same evening. For a moment I thought he was furious with me for wasting the time and fuel of his drivers in making the trip. And then we walked through the flap of the tent.

He was being tended to. The cuts were everywhere, his uniform in tatters, and the medics were still trying to remove pieces of the metal wire still left in him. He’d broken down upon his return and thrown himself into the barbed concertina wire that ran along the perimeter of the camp.

Few things in life have stirred me to such fury and passion as the look in that young man’s eyes. Being a chaplain, I believe what came next was inspiration, though looking back on it I could see how I might have looked insane myself. The medics carried a satellite phone with them and I asked for it. In my civilian job I was working at the US Department of Labor, serving in an organization called the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. I kept some of their contact information with me in a little resource book I kept with me. It was 5 pm in Texas, and a live voice picked up the phone.

I told him briefly that I was calling from a long way off, but I had a veteran with me that needed some help. He’d be coming home soon and he would be unemployed. Could he talk to him for a minute and help connect him with someone that could help. That was all the warning the veteran on the other end of the line received, and then I handed the phone over to the young marine and told him that he mattered, that there were people that cared about him, that could help him get on his feet, and that there was hope.

Military to Medicine is not a business; it is a mission that makes good business sense. I have cared and continue to care for the needs of hundreds of our military families, war-wounded veterans and their care takers. And I have found that of all the resources that I can provide, there is nothing as powerful as helping a person find a job in an environment where they can thrive in a career that they can grow to love.

Military to Medicine is not interested in creating jobs that go nowhere. We are not interested in teaching information that has no practical use in the workplace. We are about creating a healthcare workforce at the ready, and being a driving force to transform the lives of military families and in so doing to build a network of talent and training powerful enough to reshape homes and communities around the world.

I watched. I looked into the eyes of that young marine as he listened to the voice on the other end of the phone. And though he had shed not a tear as strips of twisted razors were taken from his arms and legs and side, I saw him weep for the joy that a new hope had been given back to him. But he couldn’t get it from email. He couldn’t get it from a letter or a brochure or a website. Hope is best and most effectively transacted through living beings.

We have a powerful opportunity before us. The vast majority of the world does not have the healthcare it needs to face the challenges of today, let alone those of tomorrow. In the US alone, thousands of interested students are being turned away from career training in healthcare because there are not enough to teach them. Countries around the world are being stripped of what little talent they have as nurses have become a major export to developed nations like the US. There is a vast amount of confusion among people seeking entry into entry level healthcare jobs and high failure rates because the quality of education has eroded and become disengaged from hospitals and care providers. The US healthcare system is undergoing dramatic technological change while facing a future of tightening restrictions and demands for quality results.

We believe we can make a difference, to meet the talent demands of an industry in crisis while delivering hope and returning meaning to those whose sacrifices have proven their devotion to community and to their fellow human being.

Each day I awake with a story like that of this marine, for I carry a thousand stories with me. And each day I carry visions of what could be, of how a small village in a far off place could be transformed if we could bring healing skills to many hands, and how the mother of a wounded soldier could rebuild a shattered family after two years away from home while nursing her son through a thousand surgeries.

This is why I go to work each day. I want to welcome you to our growing community. Some of you are unfamiliar with our name, but have worked with many of our staff who created the heart of Military to Medicine by delivering career assistance services as Operation Life Transformed. To OLT Alumni and friends I give my warmest welcome, as i do to our Inova Health System staff who have labored long and hard to make this dream a reality.

One thing I ask, which was asked of me when I received help from a fellow member of the military community. Join our community, provide a helping hand, (and to steal from a recent movie) “pay forward” the good that is done to you that the heart of service will beat long and strong in this land and this world that we love.

Very Respectfully,
Daniel Nichols

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Operation Life Transformed Name Changing to Military to Medicine

Please visit:  www.militarytomedicine.org 

Operation Life Transformed (OLT) has joined forces with Inova Health System to form Military to Medicine, a program that provides online healthcare training and employment opportunities for military spouses, wounded warriors and their caregivers, Veterans, National Guard, Reserve and their spouses, and service members transitioning to civilian employment.

OLT has been working cooperatively on the pilot Military to Medicine program since February 2009. Our two organizations share a similar military family mission and found that working together the training and outreach opportunities were strengthened and military families were better served. Today, Military to Medicine provides  healthcare training and placement opportunities in portable healthcare careers that readily “fit” the military lifestyle.

Military to Medicine has seen tremendous growth and support from the military community including the Department of Defense, The Department of Labor and the U.S. Army and the Army Spouse Employment Partnership. It also has received support from other healthcare systems including the Cleveland Clinic, Sharp Healthcare, Wellstar Healthcare and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans’ Health Administration. As a not for profit organization, Military to Medicine has gained support from philanthropic entities like Cisco Systems Foundation, Elks Lodge, the Dallas and San Antonio TRIAD, and the Claude Moore Foundation.

Operation Life Transformed would like to thank you for your support in the past and we look forward to serving our military family communities under the new name Military to Medicine.

Please check out our new Web site at www.militarytomedicine.org and be sure to join our social networking site that is linked there, too. We look forward to hearing from you!

  Sincerely,

 The Military to Medicine Team

www.militarytomedicine.org

 info@militarytomedicine.org

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Jeannie’s arrival into 7th State – Michigan –

p33a

America By Bicycle Group - Courtesy of http://www.bamacyclist.com/Journal2009/North09/p33.htm

Hello everybody out there!  Today is a lovely Tuesday, July 28, Day 37 out of our 50 days.  We rode from Ludington to Mt. Pleasant today, which was 113 miles.  I’m very happy to say we had kind of humid weather but good weather.  It was warm but it wasn’t outrageous, in the 70s and 80s as we were riding.  We had some nice tailwinds.  We had some half smooth and half bumpy roads, but not bad.  We had a few headwinds, but they were on the crossover roads, so that wasn’t too bad.  I had a nice early start today.  I was in the first grouping of the riders and rode with a man named Bill from Illinois and Ken, who is one of the newer riders who is only on a two-week portion of this trip.  We stuck together the whole 113 miles and we had a lot of fun.  We pushed each other and did really well.  We were able to ride really strong today, I’m happy to say.

Just to give you a few highlights that were fun and for me to remember, our first SAG stop was at 28 miles on a dirt lot.  It was my least favorite SAG stop of the whole entire trip.  It had a lot of black flies and gnats surrounding us, and I didn’t stay there long, I hurried up and got done and got out of there.  I started off out of the SAG a little bit more tired than usual and kind of gained as I went through.  We got to the second SAG stop, which was at 64 miles, and that was a good stop.  I was able to use the restroom there and get some good drinks and get kind of reenergized. 

lemonade

Photo taken outside of Reinlander, WI - Courtesy of http://www.leptonic.com/skip/Grabaawr/Grabaawr.html

Just as we left that stop, we went past a little lemonade stand with Joey and his sister, who I got a picture of.  The mother was there, kind of in the doorway watching out for the kids, giving everybody their drinks.  We stopped to get some Kool-Aid lemonade from them, which was really fun, they were really happy.  I can remember my kids doing lemonade stands at Cape Cod and people stopping and how exciting it was.  But our lemonade was the real lemonade, we used to do the water with the squeezed lemons with a little bit of sugar in it, not like the way we did it for the beach.  We used to just squeeze lemon in our water, which is my famous lemon water with no sugar.  My kids got used to that and loved it every summer, it was their favorite drink, very refreshing.  We used to put it in this one jug and that was the only thing I put in that jug.  It was like years and years and years of just lemon water in that jug, and there was something magical about that lemon water when we’d drink it at the beach.  I still have it, and we still do it.  But it was fun to stop.  I always try to stop at lemonade stands, that’s one of the things you just got to do in life, got to stop at the lemonade stands.  That was really fun. 

We had some nice rolling acres from the second stop to the third SAG stop, which was at 82 miles.  Some of the jokes and the funny things that happened, every time we’d see a hill up ahead or something that looked like we had to climb, I would say that it’s a piece of cake, Ken would say that it’s a piece of pie, and Bill would say it’s la-la.  The la-la trip!  So we would approach a hill and I’d say, “Piece of cake, piece of cake.”  And we’d get into the la-la and the piece of pie and we would just climb up as fast as we could, go-go-go-go-go, and pretend like we were on our horses, “Come on, yee haw, get going and get up that hill!”  We just pushed ourselves every hill so we could just get up and go.  As my daughter gave me my own wise advice and reminded me, it’s not getting to the top, it’s getting to the other side and moving forward, that’s what we have to do in life a lot.  We never really get to the top, because if you get to the top, where do you go from there?  My attitude, I taught her this, and taking my own advice, when you see that big hill, whether it looks looming, difficult, way too hard, you just got to say, all I have to do is get to the other side and keep moving forward.  That’s a lot of life. 

The other thing too, as we went through these towns that were really funny, everything said “big.”  Big Jackson, Big Jackson Church.  I saw some nice Scripture quotes out on the signs for the churches in the Big Jackson area.  But it was Big Red City and big everything!  Bill made a comment that made me crack up, and I laughed through the whole trip when he said, “Yeah, but you know, the cattails out here just aren’t that big in Michigan!”  And for some reason that just cracked me up, the cattails weren’t that big out here in Michigan.  I had a lot of fun with that one. 

The other thing that I was thinking of, how I’m in the state of Michigan, and Joshua, this one’s for you, honey, my son Josh, my third child out of four.  Joshua always wore a yellow Michigan hat for a long, long time.  And it tattered and tore and he’d still wear that Michigan hat.  I have a painting that I had done for him on his confirmation day of Joshua with his back, on bended knee, sneakers on the side with his yellow Michigan hat that he always wore, looking over a chasm out to a cross up on a hill.  It was a vision I had that I had a friend paint.  Jack Alexis painted it for me.  I can’t remember the exact Scripture, but it was from Joshua about the commander said, “Fall on your knees, Joshua, you’re on holy ground.”  That’s a real significant painting.  Josh, I was thinking of you because of the state of Michigan and your hat, and just thinking, I’m in the state of Michigan, here I am, riding across America. 

Another thing that was really important today, while I was riding along, about two-thirds through my ride today, for a long time I’ve been looking, looking as I’ve gone by all these John Deere dealerships and all these John Deere tractors that I’ve seen out on the farms, either with nobody in them or working the fields.  But I’ve been looking to see when there would be an opportunity that I could see a tractor that the owner was around so that I could get on the tractor and get a picture of the tractor.  And it happened today!  There was this beautiful stone farmhouse with their barn in the back and the John Deere tractor was sitting right out in the front lawn.  I saw the man outside and I said, “Do you mind if I stop and get a picture with your tractor?”  And the man said, “Sure, go ahead.”  So I stopped and I got a picture of me on the John Deere tractor today!  So Mom, that one’s for you, and Sue and Danny, that one’s for you, and all my thanks and gratefulness to Mom, how you took care of us by working for John Deere, and Susie and Danny, all of you, how you retired from John Deere.  Just my life has been blessed by the John Deere company, being able to be a child of someone who worked there.  I’m just really grateful for that.  So I got that picture today, that was really special.  I got a card from my mom yesterday that I actually read this morning, thanks, Mom, that was really sweet.  It was just really great that you thought of me and sent that out, I appreciate it. 

Love to all of my kids and Raymond and the Coffey family and all of you out there.  It really was a day that I had to work for the mileage, but got it done, it was really good, got in safely.  Everything’s still going great with my bike, I just really thank the Lord.  I thank all of you.

It was really pretty cool as we came into Mt. Pleasant, we got onto Broadway, which is kind of like their main street with lots of little shops.  There was a bunch of us that stopped off at this one little restaurant café where you could sit outside, I got a sandwich and an ice cream and we just had a good time having some lunch together.  Even at that we still got in at around 2 o’clock today, and the lunch was for an hour.  I had a really strong ride today, riding more around 28 mph on average.  My legs are definitely getting stronger and we don’t have to do as many climbs.  But as I say, sometimes we have to get into the three Gs, which is the granny grind gear, pulling the triple Gs.  That’s one of our expressions.  I’ll give you another one tomorrow, I can’t think of it right now. 

I’m having lots of fun with the people out here, moving along in Michigan.  Happy trails to all of you.  Tomorrow I’m not sure where we’re going, I haven’t been to rap yet.  I’ll find out exactly where we’re going and how many miles it is.  It’s somewhere in the 80s, I think, and we’re supposed to have a tailwind tomorrow, which would be really sweet if we did.  I hope we do.  God bless you all.  Thank you so much for all your love and your following.  I just hope that we all have a safe and good day tomorrow.  God bless you and God bless America.

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Jeannie Takes a Day Off With Friends: Home Is Where The Heart Is

Hello everyone! I know that I didn’t call in yesterday, which is the first time I think I’ve ever done that. It wasn’t because it was a bad day, it’s just that at the end of the day, I can tell you what happened. It was Day 35 yesterday, July 26. We only had to go 57 miles, from Fond du Lac to Manitowoc, WI. I was asked to load the truck last so that my luggage would be able to come out first because I was expecting to get into Manitowoc by around 12, earlier than most people, and also I was expecting to be able to get my luggage off the truck earlier than most people, which I had worked out with our leadership people with America By Bicycle. This was because I was meeting my good friends Madonna and Harry Sydney, for them to take me to their house. As you can tell, that’s a lot of should’ve, could’ve, would’ve! But it didn’t turn out that way. I did load last. My little cage for my water bottle was loose, so that had to be tightened, so that made me leave any a little bit later. Once I got going, it was a nice start, beautiful out. I started realizing I was riding really strong, I just kind of pulled out and was riding by myself and doing really great. I was riding along at a great pace with some friends on the team, but I could tell that my tires were low on air. So the first time I saw one of our vans on the side, I stopped and filled my tires with air. That always loses momentum a little, but I needed to do it because my ride wasn’t smooth without my tires at the right PSI. So I got those filled and got going on my way and caught up to them and kind of passed them and went on. I did a lot of passing of people and stopping, passing people and stopping, that’s how my day turned out. Because when I got going again, we had some headwinds, which were a little bit difficult for a good half of the say, some real strong headwinds, in fact. It made the ride a little longer and a little bit more difficult than what any of us expected. But also my tire just wasn’t feeling right in the back. So I stopped again to see what it might be. Barbara couldn’t really see anything that was wrong. She kind of pulled my brake pads out a little bit and said that maybe my back tire was not completely true as far as being round, maybe that’s what it was. So I got on my bike since there didn’t seem to be anything major wrong, but it still just kept feeling like my back tire was just off, I can’t describe it. So I still was riding really strong and riding really fast and caught up to other people again and passed them and kept going again. Again, I hit headwinds, so it took longer. I was kind of riding with some people, and just before we got to the SAG stop I was following some really wonderful people, Wayne and Kathy, and they kind of went off the wrong way, which I didn’t notice. We only went two miles out of our way, but still we did go out of our way. I got to the SAG stop, which was only at the 30-mile mark, so I figured, okay, only 27 more miles to go, that’s not bad. Once I got going from the SAG stop, there was a section I was going through towards the end and I hit a huge downpour of rain for about 10 or 15 minutes. That doesn’t sound very long, but it was just a huge downpour. Of course I had to stop and put on my rain jacket, even though it really didn’t help too much. I rode really slow, and as I came in it started to clear up. So needless to say, the 57 miles turned out to be a long ride for me yesterday, so my friends had to wait a while for me. When I got in, because I was soaked, I decided since by then the truck was already there, I could already go into my room, I didn’t get there early at all. I showered really quickly and off we went. I took a bag that I could sort through my stuff. We have what we called our pink ribbon bag, which is a bag that we put in the truck for eight to nine days and don’t get again until a rest day. It’s stuff that we kind of need, like maybe extra vitamins, things like that. So I got my bags and off we went to Madonna and Harry’s place, and I had a fabulous time. They had a cookout for me, we talked about the trip, we talked about what they’ve been doing. I got to see their kids, and Madonna’s parents, which was really, really great. I didn’t get to see Doug, I missed seeing Doug but he wasn’t available. It was just a great visit, great to see everybody. She helped me get my laundry done, she actually trimmed my hair, because she’s also a beautician, and we also went to Coldstone Creamery and got some lovely ice cream, which I love! I sorted through all my luggage and pulled out stuff that I really don’t need anymore so Madonna could ship it back for me, which was great, that was a big help. Thank you all so much for everything you did for me, I can’t thank you enough. It was so great to have a touch of home life, being in a house in a neighborhood with family whom I’ve vacationed with a lot in the past. It was great to see all you kids who have grown so much, so great to hear how well you’re all doing, it was just really, really special. I didn’t get back to my hotel until about 12:30 and got to bed. Then I got up this morning, had a nice breakfast and prepared to get ready to go from Manitowoc to Luddington, MI across Lake Michigan on the S. S. Badger. We had to all get together over by the ferry by noon. Since this was a rest day, I really try on a rest day to get a massage, which this morning I did have one, which is really helpful for me. I was really glad I was able to fit that in. We only had to cycle for about three miles to get over to the S.S. Badger and put all of our bikes on the boat. It was really big and really fun. We were on it for four hours. We changed time zones, so I’m now on East Coast time zone, which is really cool. There were choices of games and choices of a movie. I had got my iPod from my girls and boys who made a shuffle music selection for me, which I absolutely love, so I got to listen to my music. Thank you, kids! I was able to talk to different friends on the team who were on the ship. I actually met a couple who are riding across America as a tandem. They were wonderful to meet. A funny little story, which I won’t get into the details, just for me to remember and for the fun of it, he had a hole in the back of his pants. I’m just going to leave it at that, a funny little story about that. I hope they have a good rest of their trip across America. They’re heading over to New Hampshire as well and up into Maine. They were really interesting people, and they’re all self-supported, so their tandem bike was really amazingly packed. For them to be doing that is just awesome. When we got off, we stopped off at these little places along the way, a bunch of us got sandwiches and salad and had some dinner. I just got into the motel here and we’re looking forward to our day tomorrow. We have a 113 miles to go tomorrow on Day 37, Tuesday, July 28, going from Luddington to Mt. Pleasant, MI. Now I’ve noticed when I think a day is going to difficult with mileage, I’m usually wrong. When I think a day is going to be easy with mileage, I’m usually wrong. So I’ve decided to not even say what I think! I just hope the day will go well. I hope we don’t have any downpours of rain, hope that we’re all safe as we get in. I just hope that I can ride well and enjoy all the blessings that there are on this ride. Now that it’s really getting down to only 14 days left until we’ll be in Portsmouth, NH, that just doesn’t sound like very long and I’m already getting sad that this will be over before I know it. So I’m just going to relish and take in each day, the blessing that it is. The people who are on this ride are just wonderful, I really love talking with every one of them whenever we have a chance to talk. It’s a great team of people, great staff, just an amazing experience. So far I’m just really thankful that I’m still really healthy and things are going well. I actually ordered a long-sleeve shirt that’s supposed to be sort of a sunscreen shirt that has sailboats and an ocean design on it, which I really love. It just came in today and so I’ll be able to start wearing that. I got some new navy blue shorts, so hopefully they’ll be comfortable too, I’m going to try them out tomorrow on my ride. Hopefully I can get less sun on my arms, because I’m definitely getting a lot of sun. I’ve been putting on 50 block, but I definitely have a lot of sun on me. I want to try to keep that down a little bit, so hopefully the shirt will help. I hope you’re all doing well out there. I can’t believe July is almost over, we still have the month of August, so that’s all good. Blessings to all of you out there, hope everyone is fine. Thank you, Jay Vance, for taking care of all this for me. Hello to OLT and hope things are going well with people pledging and following me online. Thank you everyone, I have read some of your messages and it’s just encouraging to see you be so encouraging to me. Thank you for all of you really believing in me and being so prayerful for me. I have been safe and I’m very grateful for my health and my strength and my ability to do this. I look forward to tomorrow. This has been a great little reprieve, to be with my friends, and also to go on the S.S. Badger, it was great to go on a ferry. I love going on boats, I love the water, love being out in that wind and fresh air. It’s one of the things I like about cycling, but I love boating. It’s just a real treat to be where I am and doing what I’m doing. God bless all of you, and God bless America. We do have a beautiful America. Men and women out there who are fighting for us and sacrificing your lives, we all just say God bless you and thank you so much. Families, just hang in there and keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you for all that you do to sacrifice for us.

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