Ambassador - Jaimie Lusk
Jaimie Lusk is a bike enthusiast and psychologist at the Portland VA. As a combat Veteran, having served as a Marine Officer in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Jaimie began her psychology training in order to work with Veterans who are healing from PTSD and Moral Injury. Like PTSD, Moral Injury is an invisible wound of war that can keep people from thriving within their communities after military service. In 2015, she began a full-time psychologist position on the PTSD Clinical Team at the Veterans Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Jaimie is also an avid endurance cyclist who has competed in several premiere events, including 2016 Oregon Bicycle Racing Association Expert Women Overall XC Mountain Bike Series Champion; 2017 2nd place Overall Female Cascade Cream Puff 100 Mile MTB race in Oakridge, Oregon; and 2017 1st place Overall Female Swift Summit 200 Mile Race, Lebanon, Oregon. Aside from competitive events, she also enjoys the soulfulness and self-reflection that comes from bike adventures, and rode self-supported across the United States in 2001; toured 1800 miles self-supported through Mexico in 2007; and connected a tour through Spain and parts of Morocco in 2012.
Recently, Jaimie began looking for ways to combine her passion for supporting Veteran recovery with bike adventure. Inspired by the documentary “Blood Road,” where Red Bull athlete Rebecca Rusch made a pilgrimage down the entire length of the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to honor her father who died during the Vietnam war, Jaimie reached out to Rebecca to better understand her project. Rusch has dedicated herself to raising awareness and funding for Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) mitigation in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. UXOs have killed more than 50,000 people from 1964 to 2008, more than 40 percent of those casualties being children over the last decade. At the current rate of removal in Laos, it will take another 100 years to clear all UXOs in Laos.
Jaimie was invited to participate in Rebecca Rusch’s advocacy and awareness project in January 2018. During this trip, she will be visiting Mines Advisory Group (MAG) workers actively removing UXOs in Laos. It is her hope to forge a partnership with both Rusch and MAG to offer future opportunities for many other Veterans to become active volunteers in this work to help restore damage, both interpersonally and intrapersonally. She also hopes that in partnership with Rusch, and companies like Rolf Prima/Astral, the Oregon cycling community can join in the effort to support Veteran recovery through increasing Veteran access to bicycling adventure and advocacy. It is Jaimie’s desire to work with stakeholders--including Veterans recovering from moral injury, and those of us who seek to support this recovery—in “atonement projects” like removing UXOs throughout Southeast Asia, as well as soulful bike adventures that support renewal.
For all of us, individual healing is inexorably tied to the restoration of our communities and land. If you are interested in supporting Veteran recovery, either through financial support to cover the cost of Jaimie’s Laos project, or through pledging support for future Veteran-centered bicycling recovery adventure, contact Jaimie Lusk, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaime will be assisted with a set of Astral Wanderlust rims built with White Industries hubs - look for more posts on her adventures.