Castle Rock Magazine

Operation Circle Back’s Co-Founder Michael Wheaton was interviewed and featured in a recent edition of Castle Rock Magazine. Read the article below:

OCB Castle Rock Article

Michael Wheaton is the Co-founder and treasurer of Operation Circle Back, a non-profit organization that offers transformative opportunities for military veterans and first responders navigating the path of recovery from service-related trauma. Our team is very passionate about its mission and driven to its success. Your generous donations enable us to create activity­ based, stress-free programs that foster camaraderie and facilitate therapeutic healing.

“I am eager to share this information with our community as many may have connections to first responders experiencing occupational trauma or military veterans coping with combat trauma, could greatly benefit from the therapeutic services provided by Operation Circle Back.” Michael expressed of his organization, “Our mission revolves around ‘fostering a supportive community, and reaching out to those in need aligns perfectly with our goals.”

Operation Circle Back offers diverse avenues of support for veterans and first responders, each aiming to enhance their well-being through various initiatives:

WEEKLONG RETREATS: immersive weeklong retreats where veterans and/or first responders engage in outdoor adventures, fostering connections with like-minded individuals. Activities such as rafting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and shooting competitions provide opportunities for organic peer-to-peer support and camaraderie.

WORK RETREATS: The work retreats involve collaborating with ranch owners and equine-assisted stable owners to mend fences, repair buildings, and erect structures. Through these projects, participants not only contribute to community improvement but also forge meaningful connections with fellow veterans and first responders.

These activities again enhance peer-to-peer support and camaraderie and give back to the community.

HOME REPAIR ASSISTANCE: Assisting aging veterans and first responders with house repairs and maintenance, ensuring they have safe and comfortable living environments.

Additionally, we may provide transportation assistance for medical visits and other essential needs, supporting their overall well-being.

ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT: Each year, Operation Circle Back hosts the Tee It Up for Veterans golf tournament, benefiting different veteran service organizations. This year, the tournament will support the Honor Bell Foundation and will be held at Spring Valley Golf Club on July 15,2024.

Through these initiatives, Operation Circle Back strives to make a positive impact on the lives of veterans and first responders, fostering connections, providing support, and honoring their service to our country. The next opportunity to participate in an initiative is from May 6th to May 10th.

Operation Circle Back will be hosting a work retreat at Little Creek Ranch in Collbran, Colorado. This picturesque ranch is owned by an 83-year-old Vietnam veteran who is bravely battling cancer. The ranch was also the host of our 2023 weeklong retreat.

Having previously served as the executive director for Helping Heroes, a national nonprofit supporting veterans and first responders, Michael witnessed that organization’s admirable efforts. “During my tenure, I observed a significant portion of funds being allocated towards administrative costs rather than directly benefitting those we served. This experience inspired me to establish Operation Circle Back with a clear commitment: ensuring that 95% of all donations and grants directly fund our programming, prioritizing support for our veterans and first responders. I was able to put together a team who are as passionate and committed as I am to the success of Operation Circle Back.”

Learn more about initiatives and upcoming events by visiting

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