I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Forging Forward Foundation Beach Retreat October 7-11 2021 in Garden City Beach SC. The event made a positive impact on my life due to the way everyone welcomed us in and truly cared about our fellow brothers and sisters. The staff and volunteers kept us busy with activities to keep our minds busy and off of the stressors and demons in our lives. I still can’t believe the volunteers handled all the cooking, cleaning, and transportation to the activities during the event. It is evident that Bobby and Jamie along with the Forging Forward Foundation are the real deal!
I want to thank everyone that helped make this trip a success for everyone in attendance.
I did not expect the transition from Soldier to Civilian to be difficult in any way. I figured I was a civilian before so how hard could it be to be one again? It was stranger than I anticipated. The transition is going fine, and that is in large part due to the other veterans I have met since leaving the Army. Some of those veterans were at Clemson with me and some I found on social media. Bobby is one of those I found on social media.
Bobby's scars are out there for the whole world to see. Jamie's scars are less visible, but they are there none-the-less. Together, Jamie and Bobby are a microcosm of the veteran community with scarred bodies and scarred spirits. The greatness in Jamie and Bobby is their courage and dedication. Their courage to get up after life sucker punched them both and the dedication to live their life in a way that makes the world a better place. Thank you both very much for that, by the way. The world needs all of that it can get.
The Axes with Allies event is one of the ways Jamie and Bobbie (A.K.A. Forging Forward Foundation) brings veterans together. The group was small and the conversations were meaningful. Camp4Heroes was a great spot to hold the event and I have no doubt that any future events there will be just as good, if not better. The best part for me was connecting with people that I felt comfortable connecting with. I would recommend to anyone who is the least bit interested, to attend an Axes With Allies event. You will not regret it and you are likely to enjoy it.
Speaking of future events... on my drive home from Camp4Heroes I felt compelled to give back. Forging Forward is working with me to bring an Axes With Allies event to the upstate of South Carolina. If all goes well, it will be in late February so be ready and apply when the chance comes around. Jamie and Bobby, thank you for what you do. It is inspiring and full of goodness!
Last weekend was an absolute blessing! Friends and strangers in the outdoors becoming best friends. We all have things we're going through, and weekends like these brings us closer together and keeps us strong. My family gets bigger every day! Thank you Bobby Henline, Jamie Burton, Forging Forward and Camp4Heroes for bringing veterans and first responders together and supporting us all when we need it most!
I recently had the privilege of spending a sponsored weekend with some fellow veterans at Camp4Heroes, in Fairmont, North Carolina. The event, “Axes With Allies,” sponsored and funded by the Bobby Henline Foundation, known as Forging Forward. They spared no expense with providing for us; everything was paid for, all we had to do was show up. We competed in axe throwing, a fishing tournament, and we were able to forge knives out of railroad spikes. This was so symbolic to all of us in our own special way. We shared great meals and heartfelt, fireside chats at the end of each day. We learned about each other’s families and shared our life experiences down range and offered immediate support. We arrived from different parts of the country, and Forging Forward even paid for plane tickets!
The everlasting friendships and bonds that were forged at this “Axes With Allies” retreat, will never be broken.
I have been involved in many “nonprofit” events. I must say that this one was by far my favorite. Not because of the events or the people that were both truly amazing, but because of the genuine caring, compassionate energy and love that was demonstrated by Bobby Henline, Jamie Burton and the volunteers of Forging Forward.
Thank you Forging Forward for helping us find our outlet, and for showing us how to use the tools and weapons Bobby has been using for years to battle and live with his "new" normal. Thank you for helping us look deep within ourselves and not ask "What’s wrong with me?", but to ask “What is Strong with Me?"
It was very therapeutic for all of us that were involved. We laughed together, we cried together, and we were inspired by each other’s honesty and openness, as total strangers coming together for the first time. We definitely found our “new normal.” We are no longer asking “what’s wrong with us?”Instead we are finding “what’s strong with us!”
We arrived total strangers, and left as family with an irreversible, unbreakable bond.
Thank you Forging Forward, for your generous, compassionate hearts and having a vision to continue to inspire veterans, active duty soldiers, and first respon
ders to continue to forge forward. I look forward to volunteering at future Forging Forward events.
God Bless you both and your sacrifices and God Bless this great country. Love and Respect.
Axes With Allies with Forging Forward at Camp4Heroes was a great time. Vets from all over came together and we got to know each other. We were able to talk with our brothers and sisters in arms, someone who just got it. We understood each other, the Forging Forward group and volunteers didn't try to "fix" us but were people we could share with without fear of judgment. I cam away with a renewed sense of wanting to help my fellow vets.