Day 67: A New Approach

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty. -Teddy Roosevelt

Here is where we stand this morning. After talking with the Two T Ranch and discussing multiple options, the best and safest option for Gus is to let him heal up completely. The culprit that caused his scalding was not the heat or saddle fit but the material in the first blanket I used. The acrylic in the blanket became abrasive during the long hours and day after day riding, by the time I was able to get the 100% wool blanket I needed the scalding was already there.

We believe it could take several more weeks if not months to let Gus fully heal, that’s just the way scalding goes once it sets in. At this time I do not have a remount that I had hoped I’d have. Remember horses are not motorcycles.

This additional time down for Gus’s well being will prevent us from completing the ride by October like we had hoped and planned for.

Our way forward: Kenny and I, along with the rest of our team, have decided to turn Expedition Orange into a multi year journey for awareness. Each year we will return where we left off and complete a 2-3 week ride heading toward Washington DC. Our goal is to conduct a campaign style ride where our supporters who want to ride with us will have the time to schedule the ride into their calendar and join us on the trail. It will also give us a better opportunity to reach out to local veterans, meet them and hear their stories. In addition, it will give us more time to raise the resources necessary to properly document this journey for future generations that need to learn about and remember these heroes’ struggles and sacrifices. Remember, this ride is not about a cowboy just riding a horse across the USA, its a journey to bring awareness to an issue, an issue that has for to long been in the shadows of society,

Currently, Expedition Orange has successfully carried the message of the struggle our Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure are facing. We have safely ridden through two states on horseback and into a third. We have done this not on our own but with the support of people like you who follow us daily.

With that said, during our down months Expedition Orange will continue the mission of awareness. We will travel to veteran homes with Gus once a month handing out the Orange Bandanas that have been signed. I promise you this campaign will have a lasting impact on our veterans that are suffering, Kenny, Gus and I have already seen it in action out in the field.

We will also be attending events that we get invited to. Currently we have accepted an offer to attend the Buckeye Classic in Ohio hosted by the OQHA (Ohio Quarter Horse Association.) This event alone will give our Vietnam Veteran’s stories and struggles exposure to 33 states and 5 countries.

I couldn’t be more proud of my team here at Expedition Orange. Kenny, Gus and myself love you all and we hope we continue to make you proud even when we have to adjust for fire! We will continue to keep you updated every Thursday via our normal Facebook live and daily as things develop.

From all of us at Expedition Orange, Thank you and Welcome Home.

6 Replies to “Day 67: A New Approach”

  1. Colt,
    I am so sorry to of Gus’s condition. I pray that he will heal quickly. It is sad that you need to take these steps but it sounds like you and your team have a wise decision. Your plans are well thought out and your message and journey shall continue. Thank you for your efforts. You have reached out to so many veterans, helping them & their families. God’s speed my friend.

  2. You all are GREAT decision makers. This is a good move as was your decision to go south into AZ versus going thru the high country of Colorado. I agree your new approach will get the message out even better than before and give more of us more time to spread the word about what you are doing. Glad you care about Gus like you do. God Bless You Guys !!

  3. Hi, Colt, Kenny and Gus,
    I think this new plan is a really good one. Speaking for myself, I didn’t learn about your mission and project in enough time to help in any real way to spread the word. This gives us all more time to work on ways to support this endeavor.
    My family and I are so proud of what you have achieved and of your determination to help our vets in need. You are an inspiration to dream big, adjust as needed and persist even when the going gets tough.
    I look forward to the weekly updates.
    With best wishes,
    Nancy DiMattio

  4. Great idea to let Gus heal and conduct a yearly mission for Agent Orange Vets and all Vets!

    Keep your chin up. I know your Dad will be proud anyway You, Gus and the rest of the team accomplish the mission for us Vietnam Vets and all Vets!

    I’ll be watching for updates and I know we will meet one day.

    MSG(R) Robert Rose 68-69

  5. As a Vietnam Veteran I am very disappointed (about Gus’s injuries) on one hand and elated on the other hand, because now the Agent Orange story will be told for the next few years. With everything the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association is doing to reinstate our AO coverage this Expedition Orange will be just one more way of getting our issues in the public eye before we are all gone. Welcome home Brothers and Sisters!

  6. Colt and team, As an Agent Orange Vietnam veteran cancer patient, I have been following your trek east from the beginning. Safety above all, is and should always be – #1. Bless everyone’s heart for their dedication toward this most important subject. My battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is my second round of fighting another enemy who is trying to kill me. With additional years now added to your trip, I pray that I’ll be around to see you at The Wall.

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