At GEaR we are honest with each other, honest with our partners, and honest with our supporters. It’s in the fabric of who we are and it’s a small way we can honor the memories of the men we’re working to bring home. Let’s be honest: things aren’t looking promising for a return trip to Greenland in 2015. We need to reflect on our approach to pursuing private funding for the project and learn from the experience. We also need to focus on the future.
Like the snows that swirl across the icecap in Greenland, the course of this mission has changed direction frequently and unexpectedly. Like the crew aboard the B-17 bomber PN9E that the men on the Duck found, we have a long winter ahead of us. And like those men, we must be resourceful, persistent, and patient to achieve our goals. For them it was escaping Greenland; for us it’s getting there.
What have we achieved so far in 2015? We might not have raised the cash we needed to fund the survey mission, but we have made other noteworthy progress. We gained the support of generous and enthusiastic sponsors - too many to list here - who believe in our work and want to contribute to the mission. We have the support of the U.S. Coast Guard for our work and continue to cultivate positive working relationships with our partners in the service. Most importantly, we have the support of the families of the missing men. They are grateful for our efforts and we are motivated by their enthusiasm.
The men aboard the B-17 who faced the fierce Greenlandic winter survived because they remained positive and proactive. It’s hard to be optimistic in the face of adversity, but it’s the best way to overcome it. We’re continuing to raise money, explore new partnerships, and tell the story of our mission. There is a lot of work ahead and we can still make meaningful progress now. Nothing ever falls neatly into place in this mission, every gain comes through hard work, and with many simple acts we can achieve a complex goal.