What We Do

Mission Statement

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation supports America’s Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Special Operations personnel through two programs: (1) Ensuring full financial assistance for post-secondary education from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical or trade school, as well as educational counseling, preschool grants, and tutoring to the surviving children of Special Operations personnel who lose their lives in the line-of-duty and, (2) Providing immediate financial grants to severely combat-wounded and hospitalized Special Operations personnel and their families.

Our Programs

In 1980, when eight special operations warriors lost their lives during a hostage rescue attempt in Iran, a promise was made to provide a college education to each of the surviving 17 children. Today, the Foundation continues this solemn pledge to educate every child whose special operations parent loses their life in the line of duty.

Click on an image below to find our more about our program areas.

How You Can Help


Why is SOWF Needed?

It takes a special kind of “quiet professional” to meet the exacting standards of America’s Special Operations Forces. As the war on terrorism continues, Special Operations Forces will be facing new challenges all too frequently. In fact, there has never been a greater need for Special Operations Forces than right now. Special Operations will continue to be the force of choice, time and time again.

“My husband, Lt. Col. John Stein, died in Afghanistan in 2003. At the time, we has two children in high school and one in middle school. Because of Special Operations Warrior Foundation, I did not have to worry about how to pay for college for my three children. All three of my children have attended college. One is an Air Force Flight Surgeon at Hurlburt Field, FL, one is an Army Ranger stationed in Italy, and my daughter is scheduled to graduate from University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine in May. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for making this possible – not only in financial assistance but also the emotional support.”

~ Barbara Stein

Battlefield Pledge to Take Care of the Families

Special Operations Warrior Foundation continues to honor a pledge and a commitment to the men and women serving in U.S. Special Operations that if they lose their life in the line of duty, SOWF will provide a post-secondary education for their surviving children. The financial resources necessary to honor our pledge has been determined by a third party actuarial firm to be over $180 million dollars. Sadly, last year 36 special operations service members died and they left behind 54 children.  The number of children added to our programs continues to grow, along with the number of special operations missions. Therefore, we must continue in our fundraising efforts to meet the anticipated need for scholarships.

Support to Special Operations Severely Wounded Service Members

Although there are numerous charities and other organizations that assist wounded military personnel, SOWF has learned that one of the most difficult challenges our families face is the immediate financial burden when their loved ones are hospitalized with severe combat wounds. We fulfill this need by providing a $5,000 grant immediately to family members, so they can travel to be bedside with their loved one at the hospital during the crucial first days. Since 2006 we have provided $2.2 million  to families of severely wounded special operations service members.

How Can You Help?

There are many ways you can support Special Operations Warrior Foundation. You can host a fundraising event,  donate a portion of proceeds from sales of a product, or make a financial contribution.

Donations can be made to help provide college educations or support our wounded warriors.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Everything the SOWF does means the world to me.  There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful.

~Ebony Sherrill