In 2017, DownRange Excursions was founded by OEF, OIF Combat Infantry veteran Kevin Flack.
Flack was diagnosed with combat PTSD. While at college, Flack was president of his student veterans chapter in college and received a certificate in leadership from the Student Veterans of America and the Military and Family Research Institute of Purdue University. He is currently working toward a degree in psychology with Kaplan University. Aside from fundraising in his community for veterans, he also worked with the Illinois National Guard as a Family Assistance Specialist helping facilitate resources for service members, veterans, and their families.
Flack struggled with combat PTSD and watched his fellow veterans suffer with the same condition. Some of these individuals became overwhelmed with their own PTSD and turned to suicide. Flack discovered that medications often exacerbated the symptoms of combat PTSD and continual talk therapy lacked permanent results. While processing the losses of his fellow veterans who decided to take their own lives, Flack would go kayaking. His trips became increasingly longer and soon turned into overnight excursions on the rivers of Iowa. It was on one of these outings that he realized that the kayak trips, work out regiments, and other nonprofit programs geared to help veterans seemed to yield more successful results to mitigate his PTSD symptoms. Flack’s regiment allowed him to find a state of peace that was originally inaccessible when he used standard treatment techniques. This brought about the epiphany that these same alternative, therapeutic methods could be brought to other veterans and service members in an effort to help them to find the same relief.
After discussing this concept with the director of a local veteran center, the idea continued to grow. The DownRange Excursions team has been working diligently to bring this vision to reality and create a healthy change for the lives of those suffering with Combat PTSD and other issues in the hopes of saving lives and keeping families together!
DownRange Excursions provides tangible and healthy, therapeutic alternative options for our nation’s veterans and service members who struggle with combat PTSD, substance abuse, over medication, and other service related issues.
DownRange Excursions gives veterans who struggle with similar issues a chance to come together and regain a sense of comraderie and brotherhood that they have lost since transitioning to civilian life. By providing DownRange Excursions such as paddling, hiking, camping, and rock climbing, veterans and service members are given a new outlook on life and introduced to healthy alternative coping methods. These methods drastically improve their mental well-being, giving them the ability to move forward in civilian life with a new drive and perspective that they may have been missing.
We collaborate with multiple local nonprofit organizations, such as Hot Glass, Paws ‘n Effect, and Lift for the 22, in order to help our veterans as soon as possible. With this partnership we are able to provide a schedule for a healthier lifestyle without the use of medications, substance abuse, or isolation.