Last month, SOWF celebrated our 43rd Anniversary by hosting ‘Honoring America’s Finest: Their Service, Sacrifice, Legacy, and Families,’ presented by Wendover Art Group. Over 300 members of the Tampa Bay community attended this annual gathering at Armature Works, where a reception, dinner and program showcased the programs and services Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides.
The evening began with a beautiful rendition of ‘American the Beautiful,’ performed by the Howard W. Blake School of the Arts Chorus, led by Joseph Galeczka. During the dinner program, inspiring talks were provided by SOWF Chairman, General (Retired) Tony Thomas, Major General (Ret) Clay Hutmacher, President and CEO of SOWF, and our SOWF graduate student speaker, Ryan Soltes, who graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a master’s degree in organizational psychology – Ryan focused on the positive affect SOWF made regarding his education and continues to make with respect to his career. Our special guest speaker, USSOCOM Commander General Bryan P. Fenton, shared an impactful message covering many important areas here and abroad.
Major General (Ret) Clay Hutmacher introduced SOWF’s new expanded eligibility “Spouse” program to our guests. This program is offered to active-duty Special Operations Personnel who lose a spouse, recognizing the critical role spouses play in the lives of families. The “Spouse” program children now receive the same benefits as all other children in SOWF’s educational programs. Just before this segment concluded, MG (Ret) Hutmacher introduced a “Spouse” program family in the audience – what followed was a standing ovation for these participants.
We are grateful to all involved who contributed to the success of the night, including sponsors, donors, guests, and friends of SOWF, with a special shout-out to Tom Arthur and Dave Redmond for their continued guidance and support on many levels.