As I finish my first year as your President and CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, I’ve seen a year’s worth of children enter our programs at different phases of their education. From pre-school to college, children of fallen Special Operations Warriors carry on and look forward to their own futures with the knowledge that SOWF will always be by their side.
Today, we are supporting 170 students in college, all of whom lost a parent serving in Special Operations Forces (SOF). Each student knows that their parent would be so proud of their academic commitments, made possible by your generous contributions. SOWF supports children’s educations beginning in pre-school and at all stages through four years of college. Because of you, SOWF is able to fund each student’s tuition, fees, room and board, books, tutoring, computers, college visits, ACT/SAT preparation, and more. If you know the challenge of getting just one child or grandchild through college, you can appreciate the enormity of our mission.
In 2019, we’re committed to supporting 865 children, two of whom will be born this upcoming Thanksgiving. For the next 23 years, we will be committed to supporting these children’s education. SOWF also provides immediate emergency funding to families of severely wounded operators; relocated to Department of Defense medical facilities like Walter Reed National Medical Center and the Brooke Army Medical Center. I’m sure you can envision how important these reunions can be to the families.
I am deeply honored to be connected with all of these children’s lives, and we at SOWF are very grateful for your ongoing trust and investments in their collective success.
Leaning into the upcoming 40th year of Special Operations Warrior Foundation, I see how far we’ve come since 1980 and Operation Eagle Claw. I also understand how our need continues to grow. Today, SOF account for 75% of annual combat casualties. Already this year, with minimal public recognition, 21 SOF warriors sacrificed their lives while serving our country. They leave behind 41 children, each of whom we will offer education funding from cradle to college graduation. None of this would be possible without your generous support.
As a father, I also think about the futures of Brinley and Reagan. Brinley will graduate college in the Class of 2041. Reagan’s college graduation will be the Class of 2038. At only three months and three years of age, Brinley’s and Reagan’s families face a new and uncharted path forward. This is why our commitment is so important to those who serve for our nation’s security. As SOF Warriors undertake dangerous combat and training missions, they know that SOWF will help educate and support their children if they make the ultimate sacrifice. This solemn and time proven promise offers them peace of mind as they place their lives at risk for you, me, and our families.
For current and future generations of surviving children and families, we ask for your enduring commitment, and thank you for your support.
Major General, USA (Ret) President/CEO
Special Operations Warrior Foundation