As the new President and CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, I am honored to be on the team and continue the great work of Vice Admiral Joe and Kathy Maguire, who are leaving us after five years of outstanding leadership.
As a career military officer, with over 40 years of service in the Marine Corps and Army, I have personally witnessed the sacrifices of Special Operations Forces and their families and I have seen the impact this Foundation has on the survivors. I have had the honor to serve with some of the finest military service members, and tragically, some have paid the ultimate sacrifice. As the father of three sons, I feel strongly about honoring the sacrifice of our fallen warriors by ensuring the college education for their surviving children.
Special Operations Forces continue to be deployed in over 70 countries, often engaged in dangerous missions. While Special Operations deaths often occur without much public awareness, 22 families have lost a SOF warrior this year, adding 42 children to our scholarship rolls, bringing the total to 1,307 children whom we have committed to ensure full college scholarships.
Because of you, 330 students have graduated from college, and 160 students are currently in colleges and universities across the country. Meet a few of our scholarship recipients (like Ryan and Brandon Soltes on the next page), and you’ll know our programs deliver impact far beyond scholarship assistance. Of course, that is not possible without you.
In addition to scholarships, you also provided over $400,000 in immediate financial assistance to combat wounded and injured SOF warriors and their brave families, helping them deal with the urgent costs of unexpected hospitalization.
You have my personal commitment that SOWF will be a trusted steward of your donations through responsible organizational management and fiscal transparency. We are proud to announce we were awarded our 13th consecutive four-star rating (its highest) from Charity Navigator, placing us in the top 1% of all charities rated. We hold ourselves to the highest standards and are developing a strategic plan to carry on the mission into the future.
I am looking forward to meeting you soon and thanking you in person for your extraordinary support.
Major General, USA, Ret.