The American Baton

Josh Ploetz lives in Minnesota and is the Custodian of the USA Baton, Alan and Josh met during a dinner hosted by General Amos and his wife at the USMC HQ Washington DCOctober 2013

Josh will always be remembered for his incredible effort ‘Paddle Off The War early in 2014 when he canoed the length of the Mississippi carrying the US Baton, his objective was to highlight the plight of his comrades battling PTSD as he does. This he did very successfully, capturing the hearts of thousands along the river, drawing attention from major media organisations in the US and Europe

In October 2014 Josh and Alan were reunited at the Vietnam Memorial in the Mall Washington DC a few days later they were to run the Marine Corps Marathon together.

Josh is determined to maintain awareness of PTSD whilst using the Baton as a catalyst of understanding, at the same time making it available to anyone who believes in its Message of Conscience, to promote and support issues they believe in.

As with other allies, the Medical Emergency Response Team stretcher that the Baton’s were cut from carried US personnel, linking us all to the common cause of humanity and being loyal to those who loyally serve – we should all recognise their service to maintain our freedom.


This photo was taken in Afghanistan at the time of casualties being brought back in from action. Left of photo at the front a Royal Marine,  on the right front an American Corpsman, both good friends and an example of our nations working together for the common good  as we have for 100 years – the stretcher the same model that the Batons were made from.

The Medical Emergency Response Team stretcher used at the medical facility Camp Bastion would have carried many allied forces, most certainly American. Although it can be viewed as a sombre item, I always offer the view that it is often a case of celebration, triumph over adversity.

The people that were carried on it had received a life altering blow, for their families as well as themselves….. but so many go forward from that point to achieve and inspire others in many different ways.

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