About Us: Our History

So, where did Team Honor get its start?

It all started on August 6th, 2014, when Team Honor Founder Joe Forlines was visiting the Harbor Springs, MI area with his wife for vacation.  While planning their next few days at one of the local bars, Forlines met the father of a fallen Navy SEAL who was celebrating the life of his son, who died three years earlier in a helicopter crash (Extortion – 17).  The following year, Forlines invited the father to join him on the 52-mile bicycle ride called “Zoo-De-Mack” because the father was looking for a challenge to help overcome his depression and focus his energies on being there for his other two sons, who were also serving in the Navy.  Immediately after crossing the finish line, the father hugged Forlines and told him that it was exactly what he needed, and he needed to keep doing this. 

– SPARK – 

Team Honor came from a whiteboarding session at Co-Founder Branden Minuth’s cottage.  Logistics were easy as we planned for a larger group to join us on the ride in the coming year.  However, with over 2,000 riders participating annually, we needed to establish a team identity for the 10-15 riders joining us.  The Logo idea came from a letter Forlines received thanking for his service in the Marines.  It contained a star harvested from an American flag, a short note, and the name of the individual who removed the star.  Minuth was on the Board of the Michigan Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth and informed Forlines that the stars came from the museum, and the individual named on the note was showcased there for his deeds during the Vietnam War.  

– SPARK – 

The hardest task was deciding on a team name. Nothing stuck, and while taking a break during the session, Forlines asked Minuth to remind him of the town they were in. With a big grin, he said, “We’re in Honor, MI.”

– SPARK – 

Our logo became the Star, and our name became Team Honor. Over the next few months, we went about our business.  Forlines was traveling in N. Carolina for business, and while debriefing with his colleague in the hotel bar, an Air Force Combat Controller sat down next to him.  He had just finished playing pool with a few friends and sat at the bar after they left.  They initiated a conversation, and Forlines shared information about the planned event.  He was generally interested, so Forlines extended an invitation to join them.  He sat his drink down on the bar, looked at Forlines, and said, “I needed to hear this today. I’d like to join you on the trip. Thanks!”. Four months later, 14 individuals who barely knew each other came together as a Team to ride in the 52-mile Zoo-De-Mack.  An immediate bond and the start of a purpose began to take hold. 

– SPARK – 

After the ride and celebratory dinner, the Team sat in the house’s living room, telling stories of the weekend’s adventures and making plans for the next year.  Forlines noticed his Air Force friend sitting in the other room alone with his head down and a drink in his hand.  He went over to see how he was doing.  I looked up at Forlines and said, “Brother, I am more than okay.  When you and I met in N. Carolina, I was having a few drinks with my Brothers in my best effort to say goodbye to them.  Then, from out of nowhere, you entered my life and placed four more months on my clock with an invitation to ride with Team Honor.  I haven’t spoken with my two boys in a long time and just finished one of the best calls with them.  This was exactly what I needed.  You have to keep doing this and keep inviting others.”.  


Shortly after the ride, a small group formed as a Board to officially establish Team Honor, supporting and raising awareness for our nation’s Gold & Blue Star Families and Veterans.  In addition to participating in the annual Z00-De-Mack ride, we were involved in several activities, including runs, mudders, golf outings, skiing, shooting, and much more.  Additionally, our Team has volunteered at various venues, parking cars, serving food & drinks, ushering, and cleanup at our National Cemeteries.  The Team has also been designated by “Rockin with the SEAL’s as a focused Veteran’s Org.  Finally, the donations raised go to the financial support of Gold & Blue Star Families and Veterans during times of challenge, and many of the recipients join the Team to participate in future events.  

Through it all, the team continues to grow and extend our reach. We participate in activities and lend a helping hand in some of the toughest climates. We are Servant Leaders and Patriots—all of them.  

We thank you for supporting Team Honor and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Great people like you play a critical role in helping us grow the organization and our outreach capabilities with Honor, Integrity, and Purpose.  

Semper Fidelis, 
Joe C. C. Forlines IV
President and Founder – Team Honor

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