Captain Troy makes his way through madison on a mission.
By: Kathryn Purcell
By Kathryn Purcell
At the helm of his "boater home," and on his sixth trip across the country, Captain Gregory William Troy is on a mission to fulfill his lifework.
"I have a lifetime goal of raising, minimum, $10 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation," Troy said.
Commanding a half van-half boat vehicle, the "I'm Possible," Troy's plan is to find 10 businesses to build these "boat-cars" for, a kind of promotional tool, and to begin what he calls the "New Navy." Once a business sponsors him in that way, he stops by each time he makes his way to that part of the country. And he plans to continue his journeys across the U.S. for the rest of his life.
"Every time I stop, I will do a fund-raising event at the business for the Make-A-Wish Foundation," Troy said.
So far, one business has purchased a boat-car and he was permitted to do one event, which raised a total of $63.
Trouble came when he spoke to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and they found his program too complicated, according to Troy. His plan now is to speak to the corporate office in Florida, where he is now headed as he has a job in Key West is waiting for him.
"I am not discouraged," Troy said. "I am not quitting; I will not quit."
These cross-country trips aren't the first of Troy's travels; part of the United States Navy 32 years ago, Troy traversed the world. Leaving the Navy, he continued his world travels, making to all the way to Belgium, where he fell in love.
When that didn't exactly work out as he planned, he was devastated, and moved into a monastery for seven years.
"I came to be, day after day, happier to be there, doing that for the rest of my life," Troy said.
So, he prayed about his life's calling, and God answered.
"He said, 'Build me an ark,'" Troy said, a wide grin breaking across his face.
That's exactly what he did.
Since then, he's been traveling the country, choosing his routes based on whether he wants to begin by going clockwise or counter-clockwise from his home in Grand Rapids, Mich.
He lives and sleeps in the "boater home," and has big dreams, even after raising $10 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation - a $50 million museum tribute, done through motion holography, to "men and women of great character throughout time" as well as patenting his idea for a "waterbed boat."
"Attempt the 'I'm Possible,'" Troy said. "If I can do it, anybody can."
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Published in the January 1, 2009 edition.