Article in the Estes Park Colorado Wellness Magazine

Flinch Forward is a new Estes-based organization for military veterans and first responders who are ready, willing and able to serve each other and their communities in times of need.  Members of the Flinch Forward Executive Board are either veterans, currently serving military members or first responders.  Several have extensive experience working with those who have experienced physical and unseen injuries, as well as post-traumatic stress.  These injuries often result from their commitment to “flinch forward” towards danger in service to their country and communities.  Flinch Forward was born from the belief that men and women of purpose must give back, both to heal after injury, and to satisfy the warrior’s innate requirement for service.

The organization was started by local residents who realized that when their tours of duty ended, their missions didn't. Jeff Johansson, a Vietnam Veteran, believes that “Every warrior has a next mission. We know that the transition to civilian life is a journey. And for every warrior, family member, and caregiver, that journey looks different.”  Johansson continued “We are here for their first step, and each step that follows. Because we believe that every warrior should have a positive future to look forward to. There's always another goal to achieve, another mission to discover and another way to Flinch Forward. We are their partner in that mission.”

Flinch Forward members agree that serving others is an integral part of wellness.  Several Board members have been working with veterans and wounded servicemembers for many years.  They have seen how those who successfully develop rich lives of wellbeing and purpose are those who accept the consequences of their experiences and choose to look forward and outward, not repressing their experiences but learning the important lessons therein and accepting the lifelong continued mission of serving others where and how they can.  The Board sees the need around us and believes it’s time for an Estes-based response to that need.

Although brand new, Flinch Forward is planning a full spectrum of activities and services for and by its members, from challenging, healing expeditions ascending peaks in the mountains, to seminars and exercises which explain and encourage a warrior approach to obstacles and service, to community-service projects that provide an opportunity for members to live looking “forward and outward.” 

Adam Shake, former Army Special Forces, explains: “We are not a “vacation model” nonprofit.  We are dedicated to providing an ongoing mission to warriors, a way of life that reflects our core beliefs in service, camaraderie and unrelenting personal growth.”  

The Flinch Forward team looks forward to offering services that include transitioning into a civilian workforce, post traumatic success development, paths to leadership and mission-forward opportunities like working with area nonprofits, search and rescue training and team building.

For more information on Flinch Forward, or to donate/volunteer, go to or contact Adam Shake at