Tactical & Survival Equipment proudly presents an opportunity to win a Remington USMC Vietnam Era M40 Rifle
Tactical & Survival Equipment proudly presents an opportunity to win a Remington USMC Vietnam Era M40 Rifle benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. In recognition of past military service, Remington has ressurected its Model 700 M40 rifle to commemorate the U.S. Marine Corps scout/snipers who served in Vietnam. This limited edition rifle, Serial # SSA0243, has been replicated as closely as possible to the original rifles built by Remington under contract for the U. S. Marine Corps in 1966.
Only 100 tickets are available at $50 per ticket. All proceeds from the ticket sales benefit the Warrior Foundation.
BearingPoint Supports SOWF through Birdies for the Brave
(American Forces Press Service)
Golf enthusiasts put their skills on the line to benefit the "Birdies for the Brave" golf outing at Tournament Players Club Avenel, in Potomac, Md., July 27, hosted by BearingPoint.
The event featured a morning golf clinic conducted by Birdies for the Brave founder and spokesman, reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson, according to a Birdies for the Brave news release. During an afternoon reception, Mickelson thanked attendees for their participation and their donations to his effort to support the troops.
Mickelson has pledged to donate $100 for every birdie and $500 for every eagle he makes in PGA Tour tournament play this season to Birdies for the Brave. This is the third straight year Mickelson has made this pledge, the release said.
BearingPoint, a global management consulting, systems integration and managed-services company, hosted the event, which raised just over $13,000 for Mickelson's Birdies for the Brave program, Robin Lineberger, executive vice president for public services at BearingPoint, said.
That total included event registration fees, BearingPoint's pledge to contribute $100 for each birdie and $500 for each eagle scored by all of the event's participants, and an additional BearingPoint contribution, according to the release. Proceeds benefited the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and Homes for Our Troops.
Now in its third year, Birdies for the Brave has added an online component to the program. Golf fans can log onto the Birdies for the Brave Web site to track Mickelson's birdies and eagle totals and the dollar amount pledged to date. Fans are encouraged to make donations online via the Web site.
BearingPoint and Calloway Golf, a golf equipment and accessories company, are two of Mickelson's major sponsors. They also are two founding supporters of the Birdies for the Brave program.
Corporate Express Central Division Supports SOWF Scholarship Program
The Central Midwest Division of Corporate Express, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, recently donated nearly $10,000 to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and its scholarship program for children of fallen special operations personnel.
The Central Midwest senior management team and associates, along with their families, participated in the 2nd Annual Fundraising Car Wash to raise funds as well as participated in Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon.
Trio's restaurant owner, Gregg Pancero, former member of the Coast Guard, graciously donated his facility for the car wash and provided food and drinks for the hard working volunteers. Pep Boys donated the car washing supplies and Cintas donated towels.
At the Flying Pig Marathon, Corporate Express employees participated at two event stations at the finish line while raising awareness of the Warrior Foundation. The theme was the "Three Little Pigs" and John Nordmeyer, Account Manager, volunteered to be the Big Bad Wolf. Runners and children were excited to have their photos taken and the team received donations for the Warrior Foundation.
Omega Training Group Donates $20,000 to SOWF
Tampa, FL (June 2006) - Mr. Ray Kauffman, President/CEO, Omega Training Group presented a check for $20,000 to John Carney, President, Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Omega Training Group, Inc., located in Columbus, GA, hosted its 2nd Annual Special Operations golf tournament and donated the proceeds to the Warrior Foundation.
Guardsman sets new BASE jumping world record
Captain jumps off Twin Falls bridge 201 times in 21 hours to help raise money for charity
By Jesse Harlan Alderman
(Published July 10, 2006) -- Every six minutes and 20 seconds for just under 21 hours, Air National Guard Capt. Dan Schilling parachuted 486 feet from the rusted steel of Twin Falls' Perrine Bridge into the depths of the Snake River Gorge.
With a 60-ton crane lifting him from the gorge floor and a team of sleepless parachute packers outfitting him for each jump, Schilling jumped 201 times between 8:10 p.m. Friday and just after 6 p.m. Saturday.
His effort set a new world record for the most BASE jumps in 24 hours. BASE is an acronym for the buildings, antennae, spans and earth used as a platform for daredevils in this extreme sport.
Schilling, who commands the Oregon-based 125th Special Tactics Squadron, took on this challenge to raise $20,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, an organization that awards full college scholarships to the children of special operations soldiers who have died in battleor training.
He is a special operations officer and master parachutist trained at the Military Special Forces Free Fall School at Fort Bragg, N.C. He's schooled in underwater scuba combat. He's driven motorcycles through combat zones wearing night-vision goggles.
A veteran of the ill-fated 1993 raid in Somalia depicted in the film "Black Hawk Down," Schilling said the weekend BASE-jumping feat was his most daunting challenge.
"This is the only sport or activity I've ever participated in that absolutely demands that you do everything right at exactly the right time, or you are going to die," Schilling said.
The Perrine Bridge, which spans roughly 1,500 feet in a single arch, is the only manmade structure in the United States where BASE jumpers are not required to get a special permit for year-round jumps.
The sport is more dangerous than skydiving. People jumping out of an airplane have several thousand feet to open their parachutes. The margin of error in BASE jumping is much narrower: Schilling had less than three seconds to pull the cord in each jump Sunday.
At least two of Schilling's jumps were hampered by near-fatal complications, he said in a telephone interview Sunday, while smoking a celebratory Cuban cigar en route to his part-time home in Utah.
'Seven Summits Challenge' - the climb continues
Mount Kilimanjaro: Bring it on!
By Karen Abeyasekere
Another year, another mountain -- and this time, it's Mount Kilimanjaro.
Capt. Rob Marshall, 67th Special Operations Squadron MC-130 Combat Shadow pilot, and 1st Lt. Mark Uberuaga, 21st Special Operations Squadron MH-53 Pave Low pilot, are launching phase two of their "Seven Summits Challenge," first started in July 2005, when they climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia.
The two friends are planning to climb Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro -- which, at 19,339 feet, is the highest summit in Africa. What's different this time around is that they're being joined by friends and family who'll bring their climbing team up to 10 people.
The climb, scheduled to take part in mid-July will be followed by a four-day safari giving them all a chance to unwind.
Their long-range goal is to fly the Air Force flag from the top of the highest peak on each continent. Captain Marshall said he envisions the challenge as a way to promote pride in the Air Force and to highlight the diversity and accomplishments of Air Force members.
"I hope the Seven Summits Challenge will inspire people to get in shape and reach for those difficult goals we all dream of achieving," he said. "I also hope it will act as a force multiplier -- something everyone in the Air Force can be proud of."
In addition to their goal of promoting Air Force pride, accomplishments and fitness, the duo are using their love of mountains to support a charity important to them and their Special Operations compatriots.
They hope to raise $10,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation -- a charity which provides college grants to the children of fallen Special Operations personnel. During their climb of Mount Elbrus last year the two raised more than $2,000 for the foundation.
Along with Captain Marshall's sister and Lieutenant Uberuaga's father, Capt. Heather Healy, the 16th Air Force vice commander's aide-de-camp, Capt. Ryan Wilson and 1st Lt. Nichelle Brokering, both 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilots, and Capt. Jamie Rivas, an aerospace physiologist with the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, will also be making the climb.
"I'm thrilled to be taking part in this adventure," said Capt. Healy. "It's all pure excitement. I'm not scared or anxious, just ready to get on and do it. Mark and Rob are really accomplished climbers, and I know that for anyone wanting to do a climb like this, these are they guys to do it with."
Lieutenant Uberuaga has been a guide at Mt. McKinley in Alaska, and both men have climbed mountains all over the world, numerous times.
"This is such a monumental challenge for those of us who haven't got mountain climbing experience," Captain Healy added. "We're taking a longer and more difficult route than people usually do when ascending Mount Kilimanjaro, but it will allow us more time to get acclimated."
Coordinating the climb has been a difficult task because of everyone's varying schedules and the current operations tempo, but Captain Healy said once a date was set, the challenge just built momentum, and worked out for everyone.
Although the effort isn't officially being sponsored by the Air Force, the challenge co-founders are doing all they can to make the U.S. Air Force the first government or military organization to accomplish such a feat.
After this climb, the two hope to work with the Air Force to get future ascents sanctioned by an Air Force Sports program or other official means.
Training for the Climb
To prepare for the arduous journey that lies ahead, Captain Marshall and Lieutenant Uberuaga have relied heavily on Air Force facilities to help increase their fitness and allow them to practice their climbing skills and techniques.
"We use both gyms at RAF Mildenhall, focusing on cardio work and endurance training," said Captain Marshall.
"We have a great relationship with outdoor recreation and have gone on trips with them, both to stay active and for use as training opportunities."
He added that it's difficult to train for mountain climbing in England, so as an alternative they use the stairmaster while wearing heavy backpacks. They also do a lot of hiking whenever the chance arises.
"Everything we need to train for this trip is essentially available on base," Captain Marshall said. "We do spinning classes, the youth center has a climbing wall, and the gyms have everything we need for our strength and endurance training. It really proves the Air Force provides the tools to stay in shape -- you just have to know how to use them."
Captain Healy, who will also be making the climb, said although she has never done anything on the scale of reaching the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, she has hiked small mountains, such as Mount Snowdon in Wales.
"It's only about 4,000 feet high, which is comparable to what we'll be doing each day on this climb," she said.
"(Lieutenant Uberuaga) gave me lots of tips for climbing, including how to pressure breathe and when to take breaks so you don't become exhausted."
"Nichelle has also had a very positive experience working with these guys. They ski-mountaineered along the Alps together, on what's known as the Haute Route.
She told me about the patience they both showed, and the complete and utter trust she had in them; it really encouraged me to make the decision that I could, and would, do this challenge. Mark and Rob are the kind of guys who really inspire you to their cause," she said.
Special Operations Warrior Foundation Raises $1.3 Million for the Children of Fallen Special Operations Personnel
(June 14, 2006) - The Special Operations Warrior Foundation recently held two fundraising events that raised $1.3 million for the children of fallen special operations personnel.
The money raised will provide tuition, books, fees, room and board to more than 600 surviving children of Special Operations personnel who lost their life in combat or training mission.
On May 9th, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, the Warrior Foundation paid tribute to those who gave all in a battle with al-Qaeda and the Taliban on Takur Ghar, Afghanistan, March 2002. Seven men died in that battle.
General Dynamics donated $500,000 to underwrite the event and was joined by Cochise Consultancy, Pinch A Penny, Lockheed Martin, and a host of other corporate sponsors to raise over $1 million for the Foundation. Congressman Bill Young was the honorary chair, and guest speakers included Vice Adm. Eric Olson, Deputy Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, and Capt. Nathan Self, Army Ranger who was in charge of the rapid response team that went to rescue fallen Navy SEAL, Neil Roberts.
"It was an evening of remembrance and paying tribute to the seven men who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom," said the foundation's President, John T. Carney, Jr. "It was also a night of commitment," he said, "a pledge to provide a college education to all surviving children of fallen special operations personnel."
On May 17th in Tampa, the Warrior Foundation hosted a "Salute to Special Operations Forces." With Governor Jeb Bush and nearly 400 guests, including mostly special operations personnel, the evening raised $300,000.
"It is important to remind our military that their community supports their efforts," said Carney. "And in the case of the special operations community, if they lose their lives fighting for our freedom, they know the Warrior Foundation is here to provide for their children's education."
For more than 26 years, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has served members of the Special Operations community, which includes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The foundation provides college scholarship grants, not loans, as well as educational counseling to the children of fallen warriors.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation currently supports more than 100 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
3rd Annual Gemini Industries, Inc. 5K Run Raises $20,000 for Special Operations Warrior Foundation
(June 14, 2006) - The 3rd Annual Gemini Industries, Inc. 5K Run in Lexington and Concord, Mass. raised $20,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides college educations to the children of fallen special operations personnel.
The money raised will help provide tuition, books, fees, room and board to more than 600 surviving children of Special Operations personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.
"This race gives people the opportunity to give back to our military families," said Kim Conant, the event coordinator.
"It helps us to remember and honor the soldiers and their families and to give back to those who have given their lives for our country," said Conant.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980 to serve all members of the Special Operations community. The foundation provides college scholarship grants, not loans, as well as educational counseling to the children of fallen warriors.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation currently more than 100 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
Gemini Industries, Inc., based in Billerica, MA, is a veteran-owned business that provides technical, management and operations services to support the Global War on Terrorism.
"We are very appreciative to Gemini Industries, Inc. for their generosity and support to the special operations community and their families," said Col. John T. Carney, U.S. Air Force (Ret), SOWF President.
"Their support speaks volumes to the families of our fallen special operators and what better way to honor the memory of fallen heroes than to ensure their children have the opportunity for a college education."
Retired Command Sgt. Major Hikes Continental Divide for Charity
Retired Command Sgt. Major Richard Efird is attempting to hike the Continental Divide Trail to show his support for the sacrifices our American fighting men and women make on a daily basis. The 52-year old will attempt to hike 3,100 miles through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
Last year, 12 people successfully hiked this trail.
Soldiers Helping Soldiers...and their Children: Two Special Forces Soldiers Raise Over $25,000 Benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Charity Provides College Educations to Children of Fallen Special Operations Personnel
YUMA (Apr. 16, 2006) - Major Joe Martin and Master Sergeant Rex Dodson, both veteran Special Forces Soldiers, have raised over $25,000 towards scholarships provided by the Warrior Foundation by donating the royalties from their book Get Selected for Special Forces, which provides mentorship to future Special Forces Soldiers.
The idea grew out of the need to increase the success of Special Forces candidates at Special Forces Assessment & Selection. "Our original problem was 'How can we provide mentorship to future candidates for Special Forces BEFORE they report to Fort Bragg for testing.' When we realized that the solution was a book and it would raise money, we knew the right answer was to donate it to the Warrior Foundation." Martin said.
The Warrior Foundation is a Tampa-based organization that provides college grants, not loans, for the children of Special Operations personnel killed in battle or training. The grants provide funding for tuition, books, fees, room & board.
Get Selected for Special Forces answers the question "As a Special Forces Soldier, if your best friend asked you how to prepare for Special Forces training, what would you tell him?" Doing this through an official Army publication would have made the format much less conversational and would have limited their ability to make specific recommendations on different products that do and don't work. "Our goal is to save candidates time, energy and money as they prepare while we raise money for the Foundation." Dodson said.
Both Martin and Dodson are donating all of their royalties from Get Selected for Special Forces to the Warrior Foundation and its scholarship programs.
"We wanted a way to be able to contribute in a much bigger way. Special Forces are known for their unconventional methods of problem-solving and this is an unconventional donation. We wanted to create residual philanthropy that would exponentially increase our contribution while lasting beyond a normal monetary contribution. This is something we are very passionate about," explained Martin. "Our goal is to raise enough to fund a full college scholarship this year and to continue funding scholarships for years to come for children who have lost so much."
John T. Carney, Jr., President/CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, said, "We are excited that Joe and Rex have joined our team. Their dedication to make a difference in the lives of children who have lost a parent speaks volumes of their character."
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation currently has 92 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country. Over 600 children are in the foundation's program.
Racers Win Award, Donate $1,000 to Warrior Foundation
(April 11, 2006) - Brenda and Bill Grubbs were awarded the Brut "Essence of Racing" Award at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Gator Nationals held March 16-19th in Gainesville, Florida. The prestigious award was given to Bill and Brenda for their work with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The weekend culminated with Brenda claiming the Stock Eliminator Runner-up position at the Gator Nationals.
At each NHRA National Event, the Brut "Essence of Racing" Award is given to a sportsman level racer who best exemplifies the Brut spirit of racing. Along with the prestigious award, the racer is awarded a $1,000 check during the pre-race ceremonies. Brenda and Bill were excited about the amount of exposure brought to the SOWF during the race. "When I received the award, the stands were packed. What a wonderful way to bring awareness to this great cause. Most drag racers and fans support our country and military. They are excited to learn about a cause where they too can help support those who gave their lives for our great country." explains Brenda.
Brenda and Bill donated the $1,000 award check to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. "Not only were we able to bring awareness to this organization at the Gator Nationals but the money is an added bonus for the SOWF." stated Brenda.
Since Memorial Day 2005, Brenda and Bill have been bringing awareness to the SOWF through their passion for drag racing. Brenda is the driver of their International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and NHRA Stock Eliminator, 1969 Camaro. Brenda was the 2002 IHRA Stock World Champion and was nominated for 2005 CompetitionPlus.Com Female Driver of the Year.
Bill and Brenda are proud to be associated with the SOWF as the United States Military and it's Special Operations Forces hold a special place in their hearts. Bill, currently serving in the United States Air Force Reserves, is a former Special Operations AC-130H Spectre Gunship Pilot. On March 14, 1994, one of the crews in Bill's squadron crashed off the coast of Kenya, Africa. Eight of the fourteen crewmembers on board gave their lives supporting US forces in Mogadishu, Somalia. Bill knows the Special Operations Warrior Foundation can make a difference for these surviving families.
Volunteer for Special Operations Warrior Foundation Receives Presidential Volunteer Service Award
By Mike Bottoms
USSOCOM Public Affairs
A quiet, unassuming successful entrepreneur and a true example of the American spirit Joseph MacDougald was presented the President's Volunteer Service Award by President Bush February 17 at MacDill Air Force Base for his work with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
An expert in information technology, MacDougald volunteered more than 2,000 hours reconfiguring and designing the communication systems and website for the foundation.
"I happened to be in my father's office one day when I heard a pitch for donations for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and became intrigued by what they were trying to accomplish," he said.
MacDougald decided to pay a visit to the foundation to learn more about their cause. He found out they originated as the Col. Arthur D. "Bull" Simons Scholarship Fund in 1980 with the intent to provide college educations for the 17 children surviving the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt. For more than 25 years the foundation had one mission: to provide surviving children of special operations personnel killed in combat or training missions with a college education. A newer mission added is assisting the wounded special operators with their immediate financial needs and meeting their long term needs.
"In 2001, we were a small office with only three people and our web based annual donations was only about $5,000 dollars," said Steve McLeary, executive director, Special Operations Warrior Foundation. "Joe came along and innovatively replaced our antiquated computer equipment through a matching program and made our website easy to use increasing our on-line donations to $200,000 annually."
The foundation currently has 626 children in the program. Today, 91 children have graduated from college with 97 children enrolled and expecting to have 120 in college next year.
MacDougald has volunteered for the organization for five years now ensuring they have leading edge technology communicating with the families of the fallen. Additionally, his work has located 50 more children who are eligible for the program.
"It is an extremely gratifying feeling knowing you can really impact a young person's life in a tangible, positive way," MacDougald said.
He was also excited by meeting the President. "The president was very kind and sincere to me and thanked me for the work I've done for the community," MacDougald said. "I really don't think I deserve all this attention because the real heroes are the men and women defending our country, but receiving the award from the president is a day I will never forget."
LPGA Professional Catherine Cartwright Places 2nd at 2006 ANZ Masters Tournament
(Feb. 5, 2006) - Congratulations to LPGA professional Catherine Cartwright, who placed 2nd at the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters in Australia.
Catherine Cartwright has supported the Warrior Foundation for the past four years through her "Operation Birdie" program.
All our best wishes as Catherine heads to Hawaii for the first LPGA events of the season.
PGA Golfer Phil Mickelson Announces His Support for the Warrior Foundation in 2006
(January 25, 2006) -- Professional golfer Phil Mickelson announced at a press conference at the Buick Invitational in Torrey Pines, Calif., that he was once again dedicating the 2006 season to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Mickelson and his wife Amy have been supporters of the Warrior Foundation since 2004.
"This is a long term commitment, said Mickelson."
The Warrior Foundation provides college educations to the children of special operations personnel killed in combat or training. Currently the Warrior Foundation has more than 600 children in its program.
Rockstar Energy Drinks Donates $50,000 to Warrior Foundation
(January 23, 2006) -- Rockstar Energy Drink recently made a $50,000 donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to support the foundation's college scholarship program for children of special operations personnel killed in a training accident or combat mission.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980 to serve all members of the Special Operations community. The foundation provides college scholarship grants, not loans, as well as educational counseling to the children of fallen special operations warriors.
"With nearly 100 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country, this generous gift from the outstanding people at Rockstar Energy Drink will provide college funds for the children in school now and the hundreds of children who have yet to reach college age," said Col. John T. Carney, U.S. Air Force (Ret), SOWF President.
"We are very appreciative of Rockstar Energy Drink's generosity and support to the special operations community and their families."
You can check out Rockstar Energy drink at www.rockstar69.com
Navy SEAL Competes in Legendary 135-Mile Ultra-Marathon to Raise Awareness & Funds for Children of Fallen Special Operations Personnel
(January 23, 2006) - When David Goggins faces off against approximately 90 of the world's toughest athletes - runners, triathletes, adventure racers and mountaineers - at the 29th Annual Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon, he is doing it for more than personal reasons.
The Badwater Ultramarathon is sure to be a challenge for even the strongest athlete. Covering 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130 degrees, it is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.
As a highly trained Navy SEAL David Goggins possesses traits that certainly would be to his advantage, but you might be surprised at what he considers his greatest strength.
The love of running, it is not. "I hate running," said Goggins, "but I'm doing it to get ready for the Badwater."
Of course running is something that is part of his life in the military, and apparently, it is something that is a natural talent, but what Goggins considered his greatest strength is the inner motivation that makes him a fierce competitor.
Goggins is competing in the extreme 135-mile race to pay tribute to his fallen brothers in arms.
"I am one of the fortunate ones who came home from Iraq," said Goggins. "I am able to compete in races like this because of others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice," said Goggins. It is to those men and women who Goggins is dedicating this race.
Since America launched its war against terror, nearly 200 special operations personnel have been killed in combat or training missions, including some fellow Navy SEALs.
You can show your support by making a donation online in honor of David Goggins.
Patriot Performance Materials, Inc. Donates $250,000 to Special Operations Warrior Foundation
TAMPA, FL (Dec. 20, 2005) - Patriot Performance Materials, Inc. recently made a $250,000 gift to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to support the foundation's college scholarship program for children of special operations personnel killed in a training accident or combat mission.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980 to serve all members of the Special Operations community. The foundation provides college scholarship grants, not loans, as well as educational counseling to the children of fallen special operations warriors.
Patriot Performance Materials, based in Sanford, NC, is a veteran-owned business that manufacturers tactical gear, body armor and vehicle armor.
"As former members of Army and Naval Special Operations units, and a manufacturer that makes gear for the Special Operations community, Patriot Performance Materials feels a sincere need to give back," said William Henderson, Patriot Performance Materials President.
"Patriot Performance Materials will continue to support the Warrior Foundation and the families of our fallen brothers in arms."
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation currently has 96 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country. The generous gift from the outstanding people at Patriot Performance Materials will provide college funds for the children in school now and the hundreds of children who have yet to reach college age.
"We are very appreciative to Patriot Performance Materials for their generosity and support to the special operations community and their families," said Col. John T. Carney, U.S. Air Force (Ret), SOWF President. "This extraordinary gift is a wonderful tribute to our fallen special operators and what better way to honor their memory than to ensure their children have the opportunity for a college education."
Corporate Express - Central Midwest Division Raises $8,000 for SOWF
Led by former Army Special Forces Capt. Joe Yorio, Corporate Express Central Midwest Division participated in several athletic events in 2005 to raise awareness and funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Yorio, an Ironman athlete, is the President, Corporate Express Central Midwest Division. He competed in the Ironman Lake Placid, which is one of the oldest Ironman events of the eight North American qualifiers for the World Championship. Through Yorio, the Warrior Foundation was one of the charities of choice for Ironman through the Jannus Challenge.
Additionally, for the second year, Yorio and his Corporate Express team participated in the annual Flying Pig Marathon. The Central Midwest Division had three corporate teams. Corporate Express "A Team" won first place out of 46 corporate co-ed teams with a time of 3:09:00, 26 minutes faster than the second place team. CMW Division associates who were members of the three teams included:
Joe Yorio, President
Todd Shaw, Vice President, Operations
Ron Marko, Vice President, Finance
Paul Handermann, Account Executive
Patrick Doran, Integrated Sales Manager
Ben Bostic, Strategic Account Manager
A special thanks to Col. Dean Smittle, USAF (Ret), SOWF Volunteer, for assisting Corporate Express fundraising efforts. Thanks to everyone at Corporate Express for raising more than $8,000 for the children of fallen special operations personnel.
MILLION DOLLAR BILLBOARD IDEA RAISES AWARENESS AND FUNDS FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS WARRIOR FOUNDATION
For a company that helps millions of snorers enjoy a quiet night's sleep, SnoreStop has a curious habit of making a great deal of noise. First, SnoreStop set the bar for creative marketing earlier this year by paying Andrew Fischer almost $40,000 to wear a company logo on his forehead for a month. Then, the company sought a new Head of Advertising via a national talent search. Now comes SnoreStop's ultimate wake-up call - the world's first Million Dollar Human Billboard.
This summer, Fredericksburg, Virginia resident and local store owner Jamie King, approached SnoreStop with a compelling idea - he would live a month or longer on a local billboard (beginning November 14) to symbolize the toll snoring takes on relationships when a chronic snorer such as himself is forced to sleep outside his own bedroom, along with the affect of snoring on millions of Americans across the United States. In turn, SnoreStop offered Jamie the chance to earn up to a million dollars by promising him a full 100% of the profits from sales generated through his promotion.
While SnoreStop obviously recognized the marketing value of such a promotion, it turned out Jamie had an agenda of his own - a noble one, which SnoreStop instantly embraced. The son of an Army Service Man who was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, the 41-year-old Jamie (and father of two) will be giving 50% of however much money he earns atop the billboard - up to and even exceeding the target million-dollar goal - to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides college scholarship grants, not loans, along with financial aid and educational counseling to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.
During his stay atop a billboard in the vicinity of Columbia, South Carolina on Board River Road .3 miles north of I-20, Jamie will meet and greet supporters both in-person and online via the www.snorestop.com site, where snorers and their loved ones can order specially discounted SnoreStop products during the Million Dollar Human Billboard promotion to contribute to Jaime's cause and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
In addition to helping spread the word about SnoreStop - which has already cured his own snoring problem - Jamie will be educating the public about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and introducing the world to the families set to benefit from his and SnoreStop's donations.
Commented SnoreStop's Christian deRivel, "While snoring is indeed a serious concern and in some cases enough to end an otherwise loving relationship, we at SnoreStop have generally taken a lighthearted and fun approach to building our brand. For that reason, we loved Jamie's human billboard idea immediately and were even more impressed by him personally. His unexpected decision to donate a full half of his earnings to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation elevates this to a far more important level than anything we have done before. We thank Jamie for his vision and generosity, and look forward to working with him long after he comes down from his new home away from home."
Said Jamie King, "As the proud son of an Army machine gunner who was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star for wounds sustained and heroism displayed during combat, I understand through the example of my father what sacrifice and heroism are all about. I am honored beyond words to have the opportunity to work with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and am fully committed to reaching our goal of raising a half-million dollars or more for the education of children whose fathers and/or mothers have died in combat. This isn't about taking a partisan stand - this is about honoring all of the war heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their children's future, and I am 100% behind our service men and service women this event is intended to honor."
You can watch Jamie live online at www.snorestop.com.
Air Force Special Operators Climb Top of the World for SOF Children
Only sky proves limit for 'mountain men'
by Karen Abeyasekere
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
8/17/2005 - ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England (AFPN) -- For some people, reaching the top is enough. For two 352nd Special Operations Group pilots here, reaching the top of the world was not enough.
Capt. Rob Marshall of the 67th Special Operations Squadron, and 1st Lt. Mark Uberuaga of the 21st Special Operations Squadron, recently returned from climbing to the summit of Mount Elbrus -- 18,510 feet of mountain in Russia, the highest peak in Europe, and Part 1 of their "seven summit challenge" to raise awareness and funds for the children of fallen special operations personnel.
The mountain men have set themselves the goal of climbing the highest peak on every continent -- Mount Elbrus, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Acancauga in Argentina, Mount McKinley in Alaska, Mount Koscuiuszko in Australia, Mount Everest in Nepal, and the Vinson Massif in Antarctica. The mountains range from 7,310 feet to 29,035 feet and represent the highest physical achievement obtainable on each land mass, Captain Marshall said.
"We've each climbed some of these mountains already, but not as part of this challenge we've set ourselves," Captain Marshall said. "(Lieutenant Uberuaga) has been a paid mountain guide at Mount McKinley -- he's climbed that particular mountain four times -- and has a wealth of mountaineering experience.
"For me, it started when I was on leave just after graduating from the Air Force Academy," he said. "I went to Nepal and hiked to Mount Everest's base camp (about 17,000 feet). After I stood looking up at the mountain in awe, it was then I decided to come back, and for a bigger reason than just to climb for the sake of it."
Sharing a passion for mountain climbing, the two housemates decided to work together and perform a challenge that would really mean something to them. They also figured it would be a great opportunity to raise money for a worthwhile charity, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The foundation was set up to help families of Special Operations Forces people whose military family members have given their lives on operational missions or intense training programs.
To raise money for the foundation, Captain Marshall and Lieutenant Uberuaga asked people to pledge money.
"I'm a big fan of promoting morale and pride," Captain Marshall said. "I decided it would be really cool to see the Air Force, not just (Special Operations Command in Europe) come together, and be able to put the Air Force and American flag on top of a mountain.
"The (Royal Air Force) climbed Mount Everest and put their flag on the summit a few years ago," he said. "We figured we needed to do that too, and we decided we wanted to raise money for (the foundation). We climbed Mount Elbrus in memory of the Wrath 11 crew."
Nine Airmen from the 352nd SOG lost their lives when their aircraft, Wrath 11, crashed March 31 in Albania.
Captain Marshall and Lieutenant Uberuaga flew to St. Petersburg, Russia, to start the entirely self-funded journey.
"We wanted to prove to people we could do it on our own, with our own money, and we did," Captain Marshall said. "Physically, we felt great. We had more difficulty getting to the mountain than climbing it. Emotionally, we were ready for the challenge. We were healthy, had good food before we started and worked with some great people."
To get into the top physical condition required for this feat, both men put in many hours of body conditioning and physical training, including running and biking, to ensure each had stronger lung capacity and enhanced leg strength.
Several months, and several hundred hours, were spent planning and making vital arrangements such as finding drivers.
Getting to the mountain proved a major task in itself. The men had lost three of the four bags they brought with them on the airline. Those bags contained most of the gear they needed on the journey, causing them to rent a few critical items.
"As if losing our luggage and equipment wasn't enough, we ran into problems over visa paperwork," Captain Marshall said. "We got to the last military checkpoint and were just about to drive by when we made eye contact with the guard, and he pulled us over. After going through our passports and paperwork, he kept asking us questions in Russian, which neither of us understood ... and he didn't speak a word of English, and neither did our driver.
"The guard made me get out of the car and beckoned me to go over to a covered shelter, though he eventually decided it was (Lieutenant Uberuaga) who needed to go, because there was some discrepancy with the dates on his visa paperwork. Once the problem was resolved, we were quickly on our way."
Upon reaching their destination, the two mountaineers spent two days camped at 12,000 feet, acclimatizing their bodies in preparation to climb the summit. Bodies need to adjust to the increase in altitude, to prevent acute mountain sickness, which could ultimately lead to death if not taken care of appropriately, Captain Marshall said.
During the acclimation period, both men practiced moving around on the glaciers and crevasse rescue training. Mount Elbrus has very deep crevasses, some more than 100 feet deep, so it is important to know how to work around them and how to deal with accidents, the captain said.
"It's a lot of fun stepping over a 3-foot wide crevasse that's so deep you can't see the bottom," he said.
The duo began their climb to the summit at 4 a.m. Once they had climbed for two hours, they put their skis on their backs and continued the climb wearing crampons, which are very sharp steel teeth attached to the boots.
Eight hours into the climb, they reached the saddle of Mount Elbrus at about 17,500 feet. Feeling worn out from carrying their large backpacks up 4,000 vertical feet which reduced oxygen to breathe, they dropped their skis, equipment and supplies, continuing onward with minimal gear.
Captain Marshall said they found the last 1,000 feet the most difficult. But triumphant, they finally reached the summit after several hours climbing.
"It was so exhilarating, reaching the top and being able to plant the American flag, along with the Air Force and SOWF logos," the captain said. "There were some Russians at the top, and when we proudly unfurled our huge American flag, they all clapped and cheered. When we reached the top, we planted our flags, hugged and 'high-fived' each other and looked out at a view that made us feel like we were on top of the world."
Lieutenant Uberuaga said he felt ataxic, suffering from a loss of muscular coordination.
"My coordination was reduced from the lack of oxygen my body was receiving, and I was just fighting to keep my wits about me," he said. "I was also relieved. Personally, making it to the top of a mountain isn't what most satisfies me. It's the outside pressure of climbing for a charity, having told so many people about it and knowing we'd done what we set out to do.
"When climbing, I consider myself to be swimming out to sea," he said. "Every step I take away from camp is one I'll have to take to get back, once I turn around."
After descending to pick up their skis and backpacks, the duo then skied back down the mountain to their camp.
What had taken them more than nine hours to climb, took just one-and-a-half hours to ski back down.
"To turn back and see the summit was absolutely fantastic," Captain Marshall said. "We had huge smiles, but empty lungs. We knew we'd come through with our promise to ourselves, and we raised about $1,500 for SOWF -- mission accomplished." (Courtesy of U.S. Air Forces in Europe News Service)
LPGA Pros Catherine Cartwright and Angela Jerman Team Up for "Operation Birdie" Providing Scholarships for Children of Fallen Special Operations Personnel
LPGA Pros and friends, Catherine Cartwright and Angela Jerman have teamed up to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation through the "Operation Birdie" program.
"Operation Birdie" was started three years ago by Catherine Cartwright to support the Warrior Foundation's college scholarship programs for the children of fallen special operations personnel. By donating $25 per birdie and receiving matching pledges from supporters, Catherine has donated nearly $25,000 to the Warrior Foundation.
This year, Catherine's friend and fellow pro golfer, Angela Jerman has joined her. Angela has also pledged $25 for every birdie and $50 for every eagle throughout the 2005 LGPA tournaments.
You can also Download and print out the "Operation Birdies" donation form and pledge sheet. Mail it or fax it to us!
New Travel Site Offers SOWF Portion of Commission
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is pleased to announce its partnership with YTB Travel, an online travel agency that is donating a portion of the commission on every airline ticket, rental car, hotel room or cruise that is booked through the site.
Powered by PRICELINE.COM for airfares, and using the same booking engine as TRAVELOCITY for hotels, and AMERICAN EXPRESS for our cruises.
What have you got to lose by looking and comparing?? If you can save money on your trip while also knowing a portion of the cost is benefiting the Warrior Foundation, why not?
Country Music Star Travis Tritt to Perform for Troops & Families
at 25th Anniversary Commemorative Dinner for Operation Eagle Claw
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Tampa, provides college education grants to the children of special operations personnel killed in a training accident or operational mission. Today the Warrior Foundation has 540 children in its program and 92 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
Travis Tritt, who has been called "one of country music's most soulful and versatile vocalists" by Billboard, will be performing several songs during the commemorative dinner. Tritt, who has performed for the USO, is a big supporter of the military.
"Our troops are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom and spending time with them is a privilege," said Tritt in a Washington Times article about the Spirit of America Tour in 2003.
Joining Tritt will be up-and-coming country artist, Keni Thomas. Thomas, a former Army Ranger who fought in the now-famous battle depicted in the book and movie, "Black Hawk Down," has a new country CD, "Flags of Our Fathers" which is benefiting the Warrior Foundation and its scholarship programs.
The Eagle Claw 25th Anniversary Commemorative Dinner is open to the public and will be attended by the many participants in the complex hostage rescue attempt as well as the family members of those who were killed in the tragic aircraft accident.
"The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is honored to have the support and generosity of both Travis Tritt and Keni Thomas," said SOWF President/CEO John T. Carney, Jr. "Not only does their participation in this event help raise funds to provide the opportunity for a college education for some very deserving children, but it also serves as a reminder to our deployed troops that they, and their families, are not forgotten."
The Eagle Claw 25th Commemorative Dinner is being held at the Emerald Coast Conference Center, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., April 24th.
Acura Realtime® Pro Racer Nicholas Esayian to Donate '05 Winnings to Special Operations Warrior Foundation
SAN DIEGO (February 10, 2005) - Acura RealTime� Racing Team driver Nicholas Esayian announced that he will donate his 2005 race season winnings to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a Tampa, Fla.-based non-profit organization that provides college scholarships, grants (not loans) to children of Special Operations personnel killed in a training accident or operational mission. Esayian, a professional racing driver on the Acura RealTime Racing team, competes in the Tour division of the Speed World Challenge Series.
"Along with millions of Americans, I am deeply touched and indebted by the huge sacrifice made by our fallen Special Operations military personnel in the line of duty while protecting our personal freedoms. Most of us will never know the challenges they accept in doing their duty. I am proud to donate my 2005 winnings to this worthy cause," said San Diegan Nicholas Esayian.
Esayian races on the Acura RealTime Racing team in the Tour class of the Speed World Challenge. The 2005 season kicks off on March 15 in Sebring, Florida at the Sebring International Raceway. Esayian, who has had a life long passion for racing, earned the SCCA Central Division Regional Championship in 1993 and was named Milwaukee Region Rookie of the Year that same year. He finished among the top 10 drivers in the SCCA Central Division in 1994-95 and improved his standing to the top five in the SCCA SoPac Division from 1996-2002.
Esayian's tally includes 15 national SCCA wins and 40 podium finishes. As a member of the Acura RealTime Racing Team, Esayian drives a highly modified Acura RSX A-spec and finished the 2004 season with another nomination for Rookie of the Year for the Speed World Challenge. Esayian also was the 2004 Southern Pacific Division Champion in a Robert Davis Racing RX-8.
"The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is very appreciative of Nick Esayian's support and generosity," said SOWF President John T. Carney, Jr. "We're proud to be associated with such a world class individual and sportsman, and we wish him all the best this season."
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) was founded in 1980 to serve members of the Special Operations community. A tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, SOWF is dedicated to providing college scholarships and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel who are killed in a training accident or operational mission. These services are provided throughout the United States, or overseas, depending upon where the surviving children reside.
For more information about Nicholas Esayian, go to www.esayian.com or call 760-634-5007.
LPGA Tour Golf Pro Angela Jerman Joins "Operation Birdies" Benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Charity Provides College Educations to Children of Fallen Special Operations Personnel
TAMPA (Feb. 14, 2005) - LPGA Tour Golf Pro Angela Jerman announced she is joining fellow LPGA member Catherine Cartwright in her "Operation Birdie" Program raising awareness and funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
The Warrior Foundation is a Tampa-based organization that provides college grants, not loans, for the children of Special Operations personnel killed in battle or training. The grants provide funding for tuition, books, fees, room & board.
Both Jerman and Cartwright are donating $25 per birdie this season and hope to bring attention to the Warrior Foundation and its scholarship programs.
"This is something I am very passionate about," explained the Jerman. "I hope we can raise awareness among the millions of Americans who are golf enthusiasts about the Warrior Foundation and the great work they do providing college educations to children who have lost so much."
John T. Carney, Jr., President/CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, said, "We are very honored to have Angela Jerman join the "Operation Birdie" Program. Her dedication to make a difference in the lives of children who have lost a parent speaks volumes of her character."
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation currently has 92 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country. A total of 539 children are in the foundation's program.
For more information about Angela Jerman, visit her website: www.angelajerman.com
SOWF Hosts 25th Anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw: A Night of Remembrance
January 28, 2005 - The Special Operations Warrior Foundation will host a special commemorative dinner in honor of the eight men who lost their lives during Operation Eagle Claw, the nickname for the daring rescue attempt of 66 Americans being held by militants in Tehran, Iran in 1980.
The hostages were heavily guarded in a massive embassy compound that was surrounded by 700 miles of desert and mountains in every direction. There was no easy way to get a rescue team into the embassy. However political negotiations to free the hostages continued to go nowhere and the tension was mounting.
Military experts were called upon to put together a team that would attempt a very daring rescue attempt. The players were all well-trained and ready to go. But something horrific happened in Iran's Great Salt Desert.
April 25, 1980 was a defining moment for then-President Jimmy Carter, for the American people and for America's military. At 7 a.m. a somber President Carter announced to the nation that eight American servicemen were dead and several other injured, after an Air Force C-130 collided with a helicopter in the Iranian desert. Those servicemen left behind 17 children.
The 25th Anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw Dinner will bring the mission participants together as well as the family members of those killed during that tragic accident. In addition to honoring the brave Americans who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom, the event will also celebrate the successes Special Operations has seen since that tragic day 25 years ago.
The Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, was a young Major during Operation Eagle Claw. Schoomaker is expected to be a speaker during the dinner. Other speakers include Dr. Jim Lewis, son of Capt. Hal Lewis, who lost his life during the rescue mission.
The Warrior Foundation will present the "Spirit of the Warrior" Award to Mr. Ross Perot for his continued support of the military and especially for his unwavering support of the men and women of special operations.
Perot was one of the founding fathers of the Col. Arthur D. "Bull" Simons Scholarship Fund, which was created after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt. The Bull Simons Scholarship Fund evolved into the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides college scholarship grants, not loans, to the children of special operations personnel killed in a mission or training accident.
Today there are more than 500 children in the Warrior Foundation's program.
The Eagle Claw 25th Anniversary Dinner will be held April 24, 2005 at the Emerald Coast Conference Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Individual tickets cost $75 and corporate tickets start at $500.
For additional information about this event or the Warrior Foundation, please contact Edie Rosenthal at (813) 805-9400.
Triple Canopy Presents SOWF with $50,000
Employees from Triple Canopy, Inc. presented the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) a check for $50,000 for the foundation's 7th annual Warrior Relay Run. The SOWF provides college scholarship grants, financial aid, and educational counseling to the children of Special Operations personnel killed in an operational mission or training accident.
Triple Canopy, a professional services organization providing both security and protection services to the US Government, presented its donation at a pre-run reception held at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
"At Triple Canopy, we understand the efforts and sacrifices of the Special Operations Community," said Iggy Balderas, CEO of Triple Canopy. "We are proud to contribute to a foundation that supports the children of those who have served our country."
"We are deeply appreciative of Triple Canopy's generosity and support to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which comes at a critical time of need for the Special Operations community," said SOWF President and CEO John T. Carney, Jr. "Today there are nearly 500 children across the country in the Warrior Foundation family. With everyone's help and support, the SOWF serves families of special operations personnel and future generations."
About Triple Canopy (www.triplecanopy.com)
Triple Canopy is a professional services organization providing both security and protection services. The company assists its clients in securing and reducing risk to people, places, and things - often placing employees in some of the highest threat and risk areas of the world. The work that the company does is typically in the most dangerous and most sensitive environments. Such work includes performing threat assessments and security planning for nuclear facilities in the USA, protecting US Government officials in Iraq, and training teams to provide global security services.
Chang Industry Donates $50,000 for Warrior Relay Run
For the third year, Chang Industry has generously supported the Warrior Foundation's annual Warrior Relay Run. Based in Laverne, Calif., Dr. Yu Wen Chang President, Chang Industry donated $50,000 towards the foundation's annual fundraising event. The SOWF provides college scholarship grants, financial aid, and educational counseling to the children of Special Operations personnel killed in an operational mission or training accident.
In addition to donating funds towards the annual event, Dr. Chang also donates personnel to ensure its success, including Pat Traeger, who has coordinated the run since its inception seven years ago, and Vicky Reynolds who videotaped the event.
"The support we receive from Dr. Chang and everyone at Chang Industry is incredible," said SOWF President and CEO John T. Carney, Jr. "Today there are more than 500 children across the country in the Warrior Foundation family, and because of the generosity of companies like Chang Industry, these children know there are caring people who want to see them succeed in life."
Burkhardt Sales & Service Donates $5,000 to SOWF
Tampa, FL (Dec. 28) --- The Special Operations Warrior Foundation received a check today for $5,000 from Burkhardt Sales and Service, an Anheuser-Busch wholesaler with offices in St. Augustine and Gainesville. The funds will be used to assist the Foundation in its mission to provide more than 500 surviving children of special operations forces who were killed in a combat or training mission with a college education.
"All of us at Burkhardt Sales and Service feel this is the least we could do to support all the fine men and women who protect our freedoms every day," said Brookes Burkhardt.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides education counseling and college scholarship grants, not loans, for every child of special operations forces who lost a parent in an operational mission or training accident. These scholarship grants include tuition, books, fees, room & board. The foundation currently has 92 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
"We are deeply appreciative of Burkhardt Sales and Service's contribution to the Warrior Foundation," said John T. Carney, Jr., president of the Special Operation Warrior Foundation. "Our Special Operations Forces continue to experience its biggest deployment in history and consequently America has lost some very special people. Since the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, the Special Operations community lost 117 men and women who left behind 157 children."
"While no words can ease the pain and sorrow resulting from these tragic losses, hopefully the families' grief will be tempered in knowing their children's post secondary education will be financed through the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and that there are companies, like Burkhardt Sales and Service, to make sure these children are not forgotten."
Navy Special Warfare Combat Crewmen Kayak 230 Miles for Children of Fallen Special Operators
Kayaking For A Cause
Story by Erica Taylor, United States Coast Guard
Photos by Mike Hager, Eric Klotz
Blistered, sun-bronzed hands extend out to clasp a friend in a heartfelt "well-done." Hauling the last of their kayaks out of the water, the men bid farewell to the seamless, mirrored river. The kayak trip was over, but the effects of the expedition would have lasting ripples on the lives of people near and far.
Seven Navy Special Warfare Combatant Crewman stationed at the Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., kayaked a portion of the Intercoastal Waterway to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Beginning in Virginia Beach, V.A., in Sept. Their nine-day trip covered more than 230 miles and ended in their hometown of Jacksonville, N.C.
"Our goal was to raise awareness," said Mike Hager, a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy. "If we had only brought home five dollars, we would have been happy." With the help of sponsors from the local community, the sailors managed to bring in an estimated $10,000, equating to $43.50 per kayaked mile for the Warrior Foundation.
"It really warms my heart knowing that these young men spent precious time away from their friends and families to help raise money for the Warrior Foundation," said John T. Carney, Jr., President and CEO for the SOWF.
Founded in 1980, the SOWF is a non-profit organization that is committed to providing college scholarships and counseling to the children of Special Operations personnel who are killed in training accidents or operational missions. Services reach throughout the Unites States and overseas.
Serving in the military and having families themselves keeps this charity close to their heart. With thousands of charities to choose from each year, the SOWF is one that they continually contribute to.
"A good friend of mine was recently killed in a training accident," said Hager. "His daughters are directly benefiting from the tuition assistance. There are a lot of organizations out there that assist military members and their family, but this organization focuses on the family of fallen members. That is when people need real help, when they lose someone they love and depended on."
Knowing the money raised will directly benefit military Special Operation families in need, the men were able to ignore their discomfort during the grueling trip.
Making the trip even more difficult was the fact that some of the men had never kayaked before.
"It was a real challenge to stay afloat," said Hager. "Aside from trying to learn how to balance, we all dealt with sunburn, dehydration, and blisters on our hands and feet."
"I've kayaked before, but never in a single kayak and on such a long trip," said Chief Petty Officer Billy Jordan. "Most days we kayaked more than 20 miles."
Despite their aches and pains, the men were humbled by the generosity of the people they met along the waterway.
"I learned that people really care," said Hager. "People really bent over backwards for us. We would explain what we were doing and a lot of the marinas and campsites along the way let us stay for free. People would come over and ask us about what we were doing and would write us checks for the foundation. One couple on a yacht threw us a huge feast to celebrate our trip."
With 238 miles of the Intercoastal Waterway under their belts, the men look forward to traveling more of it before transfers and advancements separate them.
"Our pact with each other is to traverse the entire waterway," said Hager. "Whether we kayak or hike, before we leave the Special Missions Training Center, we want to cover the entire length of the Intercoastal Waterway and if we can raise some money and awareness for the foundation along the way, so be it."
Momentum Sales Donates $43,000
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation received a check for $43,000 from Momentum Sales & Marketing, a Safety Harbor-based company on Dec. 10th. Momentum raised the money through the sales of silicon wrist bracelets during the Presidential election. The funds will be used to assist the Foundation in its mission to provide more than 500 surviving children of special operations forces who were killed in a combat or training mission with a college education.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides education counseling and college scholarship grants, not loans, for every child of special operations forces who lost a parent in an operational mission or training accident. These scholarship grants include tuition, books, fees, room & board. The foundation currently has 90 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
"The Warrior Foundation is extremely appreciative of Momentum's generous donation," said John Carney, Jr. "Because of these great Americans, the Warrior Foundation will be able to provide some very deserving students with the opportunity to attend college."
For further information about Momentum, please visit their website at www.momentumsm.com.
Corporate Express Presents Check for $5,370
Joseph Yorio, president of Corporate Express, Central Midwest Division, presented Special Operations Warrior Foundation representative Dean Smittle, with a check for $5,370.00 at Corporate Express headquarters in July.
Corporate Express, one of the world's largest business-to-business suppliers of essential office and computer products and services in North America, was a new sponsor of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, providing the marathon with much-needed volunteers support and over 35 racers. All of the volunteers wore tee-shirts and ballcaps with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation logo as well as the marathon participants wearing the Warrior Foundation logo on their running shirt.
"We set a goal for the Division in 2004 to drive brand awareness, promote the health and wellness of our associates and to be better corporate citizens through charitable programs and affiliations," said Yorio.
"Having spent almost 10 years in the Special Operations community, I understand first hand the commitment and sacrifice of the Special Operations service members and their families. We felt this was a way to give something back as well as promote awareness of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation," Yorio explained.
The funds donated by Corporate Express will provide college scholarships for some 537 children of fallen special operations personnel. The Warrior Foundation has seen 66 of its students graduate from college and expect nearly 100 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country this Fall.
"We are deeply appreciative of Corporate Express' contribution to the Warrior Foundation," said John T. Carney, Jr., president of the Special Operation Warrior Foundation. "Our Special Operations Forces continue to experience its biggest deployment in history and consequently our community and the world have lost some very special people. Since the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, the Special Operations community lost 117 men and women who left behind 157children."
"While no words can ease the pain and sorrow resulting from these tragic losses, hopefully the families' grief will be tempered in knowing their children's post secondary education will be financed through the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and that there are companies, like Corporate Express, to make sure these children are not forgotten."
SOWF representative Dean Smittle is a retired Air Force Colonel, who is a military analyst for the Jim Scott Morning Drive, 700 WLW AM Radio and also a military analyst for WCPO-TV Morning News. He has been involved with the Special Operations since 2001.
Former Army Ranger Keni Thomas Joins Country Performers in Kansas City to Raise Money for the Warrior Foundation
Country singer-songwriter Keni Thomas joins Broken Bow Records recording artist, Craig Morgan and Chely Wright for a special performance on Dec. 8th at the Whiskey Tango Club in Green Valley, Kansas. The show is sponsored by WDAF in Kansas City and all proceeds from the show will benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Thomas' upcoming single, "Not Me," will be his first single for Moraine Records. Produced by Grammy winning producer Brent Maher and Mark Selby, "Not Me" features special guest vocalists Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris.
Morgan, whose 2004 hit single, "Almost Home," was recently named Song of the Year at the Music Row Awards, became an early-to-rise, hands-on guy when just two years out of high school he joined the military and proceeded to pound out a rigorous but incredibly rewarding decade-long career as a soldier.
Wright's brand new single "Bumper on my SUV" reached the number one slot on the Billboard Top Country Single chart.
"Not Me" is the first single from Thomas' upcoming January 25 release, Flags of Our Fathers - A Soldier's Story. The new single is part of a collection of songs telling stories inspired by life in the military and by those who serve our nation. In addition to Gill and Harris, other special guests include Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Shawn Mullins, Blackhawk, Michael McDonald and Kenny Rogers.
Longtime Georgia resident Thomas is uniquely capable of telling these stories. He is a former Army Ranger who fought in the Somalia battle recounted in the book and motion picture Black Hawk Down. For more information about Keni Thomas and his new release, visit his website online at www.herofund.com.
The show in Kansas City begins at 7 p.m. and the cost is $10.00 for general admission. There is no cost for members of the armed forces (military id required).
Phil Mickelson�s Birdies for the Brave Helps Make Dreams Come True
Phil Mickelson and partners raise more than $400,000 for children of fallen Special Operations personnel
Phil Mickelson and his partners, Ford and BearingPoint, capped their season-long Birdies for the Brave program by presenting a check in excess of $105,600 to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Warrior Foundation currently has 90 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
The team contributed $100 for each birdie and $500 for each eagle Mickelson made on the PGA TOUR this year. Mickelson has made six eagles and is ranked second in birdie average with 322 birdies in 1,350 holes. That means the team has paid off on one of every four holes played by Mickelson in 21 events to date.
"Amy and I wanted to do something to support the efforts of our troops and the families that have been left behind," said Mickelson. "We were excited when Ford and BearingPoint volunteered to join us in this program and it's gratifying to know we helped raise awareness of the program around the country, which was another one of our goals. We're all happy to have helped in some small way."
"We're proud of all that Phil accomplished this year," said Ford Division President Steve Lyons. "And we're especially proud to help Phil and Amy make attending college possible for these young people - whose families already have sacrificed so much for their country."
"BearingPoint is honored to be affiliated with such a world class individual and sportsman as Phil Mickelson and to join Phil and Amy in supporting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation," said Linda Rebrovick, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of BearingPoint. "We hope this donation expresses our gratitude for the heroism of our Special Operations soldiers."
Mickelson's Birdies for the Brave program prompted Dave Farrell, bass player for the band Linkin Park, to make a contribution following a show in Tampa while the Warrior Foundation also has seen a spike in charity golf events, bringing this year's total amount raised for the foundation to more than $400,000.
"The Birdies for the Brave program in support of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help make dreams come true for some very special children who have had to suffer through what no child should have to face -- the loss of a parent," said John Carney, President/CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. "On behalf of the more than 530 children in our program, we are grateful for their support."
Catherine Cartwright Raises $22,842 in Operation Birdie
LPGA newcomer called "role model for today's youth"
TAMPA, Nov. 2, 2004 - LPGA member Catherine Cartwright's Operation Birdie program on behalf of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation raised $22,842 this season for the Tampa-based organization (www.specialopsorg) that provides college grants, not loans, for the children of Special Operations personnel killed in battle or training.
In addition to donating $25 for each of her 182 birdies this season, Cartwright contributed her entire first check of the season, $5,791 for her share of 29th place at the Welch's/Fry's Championship in Tucson. Added to that were donations from fans who supported Operation Birdie from Cartwright's webpage at www.lpga.com and $5,000 checks from Ronald McDonald House and Champs Sports presented during her appearance this year on the Wayne Brady Show.
"I think Operation Birdie was a success this year," said Cartwright, "but I'm looking forward to playing better next year and raising more money. This was a great learning year for me and it gave me the opportunity to work for a great cause, helping kids who have lost so much get through college and chase their dreams."
Cartwright, 21, completed her first full season on the LPGA Tour after being the 2003 Qualifying School co-medalist. She made 15 of 22 cuts including a tie for seventh place at the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic.
"Catherine has been a wonderful role model to fans worldwide through her performance on the LPGA Tour and dedication to charitable endeavors," said Karen Durkin, LPGA senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "Her passion and drive to raise funds for the children of lost Special Operations personnel, while also building awareness of the fund through her yearlong efforts on Tour, have made her an exemplary athlete both on and off the course. The LPGA applauds her for her selflessness and dedication to helping the children."
John T. Carney, Jr., President/CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, said, "Catherine Cartwright's quiet perseverance, determination and patriotism make her a wonderful role model for today's youth.
"With every opportunity she's had, Catherine has found a way to honor the children of Special Operations personnel. Because of Catherine's involvement, the children of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation know that there are caring people out there who want them to succeed. This speaks volumes about her character. On behalf of the 534 children of the Warrior Foundation, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts."
Gaylord Sports Management provides full service in sports management and the creation of entertainment, marketing and consulting relationships for its clients. GSM represents 39 professional golfers and baseball players worldwide, including major champions Phil Mickelson, Mark Calcavecchia, Rich Beem and Grace Park. For details on the company, its players and its services, please visit www.gaylordsports.com.
CRAIG MORGAN AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS TROOPS RUN 335-MILE RELAY TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHILDREN OF FALLEN WARRIORS
Broken Bow Records country star Craig Morgan and members of America's elite Special Operations forces will run a 335-mile relay from Fayetteville, NC to Washington, DC to raise money for some very special children - children of special operations forces who died as a result of an operational mission or training accident - during the 7th Annual Warrior Relay Run, September 13 - 16, 2004. Craig will run the last leg of the four-day relay arriving at the Memorial to American Special Operators in Arlington Cemetery on September 16 at approximately 3pm.
"Any time I have the opportunity to maintain my support for the military, I'm proud to do so," says Craig Morgan. "This relay run raises money for a great cause - providing college educations to the children of fallen special operations soldiers."
Morgan, whose 2004 hit single, "Almost Home," was recently named Song of the Year at the Music Row Awards, became an early-to-rise, hands-on guy when just two years out of high school he joined the military and proceeded to pound out a rigorous but incredibly rewarding decade-long career as a soldier.
Craig's duty stations included Korea, where he trained at the grueling ROK Ranger School, and Panama, where he aided in the U.S.-led effort to oust Manuel Noriega during Operation Just Cause. As part of his service, Craig became a rappel master, a jump master and later assisted in training elite combat units and monitored the utilization of Air Force equipment in Army operations. He's jumped out of planes with a 65-pound pack, landed under fire and marched 50 miles to his assigned location.
"We are deeply appreciative of Craig Morgan's generosity and support to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation," said John T. Carney, Jr. president of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. "Taking time out of his hectic tour schedule to honor the children of fallen special operations personnel speaks volumes about his character, and the Warrior Foundation is very appreciative of his support."
During the four-day relay, special operations personnel will show their courage and dedication in a different way - by running and carrying the American flag from Fayetteville, NC to Washington, DC to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation while honoring those fallen comrades who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a non-profit 501 (C)(3) organization that provides college educations to the children of fallen special operations personnel since 1980. Since the terrorist attack in September 2001, the special operations community has lost 108 personnel, leaving behind 145 children. Since the foundation's inception in 1980, America has lost 431 special operations personnel who have left behind 523 children. Today the foundation has nearly 100 students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country. They were recently awarded a 4-star rating for financial efficiency by an independent charity evaluator.
Craig's current single, "Look At Us," from his Broken Bow Records debut album, I LOVE IT, is currently at #26 on R&R; and #28 on Billboard. Craig co-penned "Look At Us" with Larry Bastion and Buddy Cannon.
Inaugural Presentation of SOWF�s Silver "The Spirit of Hope Award" Medallion
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is proud to announce the inaugural presentation of "The Spirit of Hope Award" silver medallion.
On Aug. 30th, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be the first recipient of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation's silver medallion of "The Spirit of Hope." The award will be presented at a fundraising luncheon for the children of fallen special operations personnel at Cipriani's in New York City.
Originally commissioned by the USO, "The Spirit of Hope Award" was inspired by Bob Hope's dedication to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Since 1997, this award has been presented to distinguished Americans and organizations whose patriotism and service to the troops reflects that of the late Bob Hope.
Unlike previous editions of the medallions which were cast in bronze, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation's medallion is truly unique because it is the only one made of fine silver.
"The Spirit of Hope Award" was created by St. Louis sculptor Don F. Wiegand and Mr. Michael Fagin. Wiegand has work on display in public and private collections around the world, including pieces created for Presidents Reagan and Bush. (www.thewiegandfoundationinc.com)
Former Special Forces Soldier Raffles Custom Bike for Foundation
(July 20) -- When Sgt. Major J.O. Olson retired from the 5th Special Forces in Sept. 2002, he and his wife, Gina, opened JnJ Custom Cycle near Ft. Campbell, KY."I immediately began searching for ways to use my new business to help my former colleagues," said Jay. "I decided to build a custom motorcycle, a special operations themed chopper, to be raffled off with the proceeds going to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation."
Green Beret Runs 100 Mile Western States Marathon In Memory Of Fallen Comrade
by Guy Clifton, Reno Gazette-Journal
The first time Fred Dummar qualified for the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Race, his day job prevented him from taking part. It's a little tough, after all, to get to Squaw Valley from a war zone in Iraq.
Dummar, a Gabbs High School and University of Nevada, Reno graduate, is an Army Special Forces major and he was commanding a ground force at the time. "We did the northern route," he said.
"We came in trained Kurdish forces in the north and held the line up there. We pinned down Saddam's line in the north, then we started pushing south. We were with the first group that entered Mosul.
"Earlier this year, Dummar again applied for the Western States run. This time, he was serving in Afghanistan, he and his small unit of Green Berets living among Afghan civilians near Kandahar.
"We were running all the remote fire bases hub and spoke fire bases where the teams live out with the locals," he said. At the same time that he learned he had qualified for this weekend's Western States, he was mourning the death of his friend and fellow Special Forces soldier, Sgt. Paul Sweeney.
Sweeney was killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan, leaving behind a wife and two small children. "I was kind of torn about whether to go run or not," said Dummar, stationed with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C. "Then I thought it's a perfect way to honor his memory and raise awareness of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
"The Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit organization with one goal: provide college educations for children of special operations personnel killed in combat or training.
"It's for the Green Berets, the Navy SEALs, the Air Force special ops guys, (and other special operations forces)," Dummar said.
"The Warrior Foundation provides scholarships for their kids. Paul had two boys under 5. They're going to need the foundation. I thought it would be a good way to honor Paul's memory."
The 35-year-old Dummar has been running ultra-marathons since 1997. "The first one I did was the John F. Kennedy 50-miler," he said. "It's been around for 40-some years. A friend I was stationed with said: 'Come on. We're going to do this. No training nothing. We're just going to suck it up and make it.'"
They made it. Dummar has run numerous marathons and ultra-marathons since. The Western States takes runners from the high elevation of the Sierra, 100 miles west to near Auburn, Calif., and over miles of rugged terrain - including a 2,550-foot climb in the first four-and-a-half miles. His wife, Susan, and older brother, Ray, a Navy chief, were his support team. His parents, Ray and Hazel Dummar of Gabbs, also monitored his progress. Dummar finished the 100-mile run in 29 hours, 15 minutes.
While it certainly was a test of endurance, it was also a run with a purpose - a soldier taking care of a fallen hero.
Special Operations Adventure Race Raises $55,000
by Jessica Keaton, The Highlander
After a 10-hour race, only one minute separated the top three finishers in last weekend's Special Operations Adventure Race.
First-place finisher was Team Lite Speed of Asheville, which completed the race in 10 hours and 15 minutes. In second place, with a time of 10 hours and 16 minutes, was Joe Daniels of Atlanta. Third-place winner was Team Intra-Net 2 of Atlanta, with a time of 10 hours and 17 minutes.
According to Ken Wheeler, race director, 58 people competed in the race, and 45 racers finished the course.
"The race was extremely challenging because of the hills and navigation," said Wheeler. Racer Reide Corbett said this event marked his fifth race since he began adventure racing three years ago, and he said SOAR was one of the hardest races he's attempted.
Among the participants celebrating completion of the race was Judy Hezlitt of Atlanta, who raced with fellow Atlanta resident Becky Rentz. However, Hezlitt was also celebrating for a different reason.
"I became a great-grandma yesterday," she explained. "Stay outside and keep moving is my motto on life."
Fundraising Chairman Bill Horwitz estimated the race raised more than $55,000, which he said surpasses last year's total by about $15,000. According to Horwitz, the silent auction alone raised about $13,000.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation raises money to fund college scholarships for children of Special Operations soldiers who are killed in action.
"The town of Highlands is one of the most giving towns that I've ever lived in," said Horwitz. "People at the silent auction gave more than at a normal auction because it was for such a good cause."
New York Yankees Honor Special Ops Personnel
NEW YORK (June 26) - The Steinbrenner Family and the New York Yankees honored Special Operations personnel and a SOWF family during the interleague showdown between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets on June 26th at Yankee Stadium.
With the Army's premiere jump team, the Golden Knights, parachuting into the stadium, West Point cadets presenting the colors, former Ranger Keni Thomas singing the National Anthem, and Adm. Eric Olson, Deputy Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command throwing out the first pitch, it was guaranteed to be a fantastic game.
The family of Lt. Col. Charles Buehring, who was killed in Iraq in Oct. 2003, were invited guests of the New York Yankees and the Warrior Foundation. Alicia Buehring and her sons, Nick, 13, and Drew, 10, joined Mr. George Steinbrenner in the owner's box for the game. Nick and Drew were treated to a very special surprise when they were escorted into the Yankees locker room where they got to meet the players, get photographs, and get their NY Yankee jerseys signed by their favorite players. Not even the team's loss to the Mets that day could dim the smiles the lit up their faces.
Linkin Park Donates $75,000 to the Warrior Foundation
TAMPA (March 8) - Nu-metal band, Linkin Park recently presented a $75,000 donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at a concert at the USF Sundome in Tampa, March 5th. Each of the six Linkin Park band members have chosen a charity to support during their tour, and for bass player Dave Farrell, also known as Phoenix, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation was his choice.
Farrell, who has been with the Los Angeles-based band for the past eight years, heard about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation when he read about PGA professional golfer Phil Mickelson's "Birdies for the Brave" program in support of the Warrior Foundation. Farrell said it was important to provide hope to the children of fallen special operations personnel and to make sure they were not forgotten.
"Phoenix and the whole Linkin Park band are truly great Americans and great role models for our nation's youth," said John T. Carney, Jr., President/CEO, Special Operations Warrior Foundation. "Taking time out of their hectic tour schedule to honor the children of fallen special operations personnel speaks volumes about their character, and the Warrior Foundation is very appreciative of their support."
SOWF President Receives Prestigious Rylander Award
Tampa, FL (Feb. 12) -- SOWF President, John T. Carney, Jr. was presented the National Defense Industrial Association's prestigious Rylander Award on Feb. 5th in Washington, DC. The award was presented during NDIA 15th Annual Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Symposium awards banquet.
The Rylander Award is presented annually to an individual who has made distinctive contributions in the area of special operations or low intensity conflict. John Carney's efforts in support of the Joint Special Operations Community are well documented and span more than two decades. He was inducted into the Air Force Commando Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 1996, the Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command presented John Carney with the United States Special Operations Command Medial for outstanding contributions to Special Operations.
Mr. Carney has been involved with the Warrior Foundation since its inception in 1980, and took over the role of President/CEO in 1999.
LPGA Pro Catherine Cartwright Plays to Pay for Scholarships "Operation Birdie" Benefits Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Bonita Springs, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2004) -- Catherine Cartwright, co-medalist at the 2003 LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, announced today that she plans to donate her first check this season and $25 for each birdie to Operation Birdie, a program benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Its mission is to provide full college scholarships for the children of Special Operations personnel killed in operational or training missions.
"I believe in this Foundation because I think everyone should have a chance to follow his or her dreams," said Cartwright, who begins her first full season on the LPGA Tour March 11 at the Welch's/Fry's Championship in Tucson.
Cartwright, 20, turned professional in 2001, months after graduating from Estero (Fla.) High School, and earned conditional status on the LPGA Tour for 2002. That year she initiated her birdies program and raised nearly $10,000 for the SOWF. This year she is seeking to involve even more players and patrons.
"Phil Mickelson has gotten involved in the program and what he's done with major sponsors is tremendous," said Cartwright. "My idea is to interact directly with other families to help the Warrior Foundation family. Our country's freedom is so fragile and men and women die all the time defending it. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation gives the families a little more comfort knowing their children's futures are more secure."
Details on Cartwright's Operation Birdies can be found on the SOWF website, www.specialops.org. Fans can make pledges by phone or at firstname.lastname@example.org and Catherine will send them a weekly update on her progress through the season. The LPGA Tour is also supporting the cause. Cartwright will update fans and sponsors on her progress throughout the year on her messageboard on LPGA.com, the official Web site of the LPGA. Fans can post messages to Cartwright as well (click on the green "Messageboards" box in the center of the LPGA.com home page).
"We were thrilled that Catherine decided to support our Foundation two years ago," said SOWF president John Carney, "and she did a great deal to help raise money and awareness. But this dedication and generosity is truly remarkable. Catherine is another role model for both the children in the Warrior Family who have suffered a great loss and for those among us who will not let that loss be forgotten."
Since America launched Operation Enduring Freedom and the war on terrorism, special operations forces have lost 87 personnel, leaving behind 99 children. Today there are more than 480 children across the country in the Warrior Foundation family.
Mickelson Looking to Score for Children of Fallen Heroes
"Birdies for the Brave" Benefits Special Operations Warrior Foundation
La Quinta, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2004) -- Phil Mickelson announced today that the Phil and Amy Mickelson Charitable Fund is inaugurating the "Birdies for the Brave" program to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. For every birdie and eagle he scores, Mickelson will make a significant contribution to the Tampa-based Foundation dedicated to funding college educations for the children of Special Operations personnel killed in operational or training missions.
"Family is everything for Amy and myself, and this is our way of helping families in need stay together and grow strong even after the loss of a parent," said Mickelson, whose father served a Navy fighter pilot. "Birdies for the Brave is an opportunity to salute the men and women who have given their lives on our behalf around the world and to let their families know their sacrifices won't be forgotten."
The Phil and Amy Mickelson Charitable Fund will contribute $100 per birdie and $500 per eagle to Birdies for the Brave. In his 11-plus years on the Tour, Mickelson has 21 victories and has been a consistent leader in birdie and eagle averages. He led both categories in 2001. Based on his par-breaker average over the last five years, Mickelson will be making a contribution on one of every four holes he plays this season.
"I hope it gets pricey," said Mickelson, who begins his season tomorrow at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. "That'll mean I'm playing well and the Warrior Foundation will see a major benefit."
SOWF president John Carney said, "We're deeply appreciative of Phil Mickelson's generosity and support to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which comes at a critical time of need for the special operations community. Since America launched Operation Enduring Freedom and the war on terrorism, special operations forces have lost 87 personnel, leaving behind 99 children who deserve our help. Today there are more than 480 children across the country in the Warrior Foundation family. With everyone's help and support the SOWF is here to serve families of special operations troops and future generations."
"Phil's commitment to the Warrior Foundation is another example of how important it is to TOUR players to give back," said Henry Hughes, PGA TOUR Chief of Operations. "Whether it is through their participation in TOUR events or their personal commitment to a specific charity, TOUR players view being able to give back to communities and charities as an integral part of their profession."
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit 501 c (3) organization since 1980, provides college scholarship grants, not loans, as well as family and financial counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed in an operational mission or training accident. The grants cover all costs - tuition, books, fee and room and board.
For more information about Phil Mickelson visit www.phil-mickelson.com
Runner Turns Marathons into "My Pain, Their Gain 2-n-2" Charity Run 2004
TAMPA, FL (Dec. 31, 2003) -- Randy McCune is starting out the New Year by doing something that some people may think is crazy. He is running two 26.2 mile marathons in a two week period.
Last year, Randy dedicated the Hops Marathon to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and raised more than $1,000. This year, he is doubling his efforts in the hope that his supporters will double theirs as well.
On Jan 11th, Randy will be among the thousands of runners hitting the streets of the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando and the Hops By-the-Bay Marathon in downtown Tampa, Jan. 25th.
To the crowds of spectators lining the streets he will be just another runner - just another number passing them by. But what they don't know is that Randy McCune is one of those quiet heroes who is running not just for himself - but also to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, helping to provide college scholarships to the Warrior Foundation's 470 surviving children.
An avid runner and former special forces soldier, Randy has always enjoyed running to stay physically fit and has completed 14 marathons. The camaraderie enjoyed with fellow runners is similar to that of being in the military, Randy explained.
"Many of the individuals that run these long races regardless of age are very akin to the special operations forces' unique spirit and attributes," said Randy. "For example, accomplishment and self pride, and a belief in mottos such as 'can do,' 'never quit,' and 'help your buddy.'"
It is that belief in helping others that gave Randy, who used to be assigned to 5th Special Forces Group, the idea of running for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Nicknamed by Randy as the "My Pain, Their Gain 2-n-2" marathons, he is hoping to raise some money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides four-year college scholarships for the children of special operations who lost a parent in an operational mission or training accident.
"I wanted to find a way that my running this marathon could spark an interest or challenge to others to contribute to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. I have known comrades from the 5th Special Forces that have sacrificed in Somalia and now in Iraq and Afghanistan," explained Randy. "Since I am no longer in uniform this is hopefully one small effort I can give on behalf of all special operations warriors."
New U.S. Special Operations Forces Book
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Publication Date: September 2003
U.S. Special Operations Forces
Benjamin F. Schemmer
Colonel John T. Carney, USAF (Ret)
"Quiet Professionals" or special operators have been conducting clandestine warfare since the American colonists fought in the French and Indian War. After the carnage of Mogadishu as captured in the movie "Black Hawk Down," and now Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Americans-and its enemies-are aware of the full magnitude of the United Special Operations Command's elite forces. From Roger's Rangers in the American Revolution to the Army Rangers and Underwater Demolition Teams of World War II to the Green Berets and SEALs of Vietnam, to the now specialized commands of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, the fighting spirit and essence of the United States Special Operations Forces are celebrated for the first time in a definitive, magnificently illustrated, large format book published with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Written by an outstanding team, including historians, authors, and experts associated with the Special Operations Forces, as well as several distinguished Army, Air Force, and Navy officers, U.S. Special Operations Forces has nearly 330 pages of riveting and informative text and stories of the "Special Ops" experience. Essays on Special Operations, from its history to the specially designed weapons, focus on the incredibly trained and highly motivated people that make it all work. The thoughtful incorporation of full-color and vintage photography, maps, and historically inspired paintings complements the text while adding the excitement that only spectacular illustrations can bring to a book.
U.S. Special Operations Forces enables the history of America's special operators to be cherished permanently in a handsome package that all Special Operations personnel will be proud to own and-with its unique medallion-inlaid cover-to display. This book will be read again and again by past and present operators, their families and friends, and the countless others that have been inspired and intrigued by the exploits of the United States Special Operations Forces.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a non-profit organization providing college scholarship grants to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.
Benjamin F. Schemmer is a West Point and Army Ranger graduate, and a former paratrooper. He is the author of The Raid, the former editor of Armed Forces Journal International, and has long been a frequent lecturer at military command, staff, and war colleges. He lives in Naples, Florida. Colonel John T. Carney Jr., USAF (Ret), was the first commanding officer of Air Force Special Tactics,. In 1996, Carney was presented the U.S. Special Operations Command Medal for his outstanding contributions to the revitalization of special operations. He is now President of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. He lives in Tampa, Florida.
U.S. Special Operations Forces
Published by Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc.
Distributed by Publishers Group West (800-788-3123)
10.5 x 14.5" in., 328 pages, 650 images, 450 in color, 80,000 words
$75.00; Canada: $108.95
For more information contact James O. Muschett, email@example.com
Reviews of U.S. Special Operations Forces
Best picture history of the U.S. Special Operations Forces that I have ever seen. It captures the entire history with emphasis on what makes SOF special-the remarkable people! The photographs are magnificent; many of them I had never seen before.
General Wayne A. Downing, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Third Commander in Chief
U.S. Special Operations Command (CINSOC)
They move silent.They move invisibly.They strike deadly.American Special Operations forces have always led the way and now-for the first time-you can stand beside these noble warriors, taking a rare, exciting look into the world of Black Ops and missions that never existed. In U.S. Special Operations Forces you'll learn not only who they are, but who they've been and trace the trail of freedom they've blazed from the French and Indian War through Operation Enduring Freedom.
Spectacularly illustrated, movingly written, U.S. Special Operations Forces puts a face to the heroes we never get to see, accounts to operations performed flawlessly, and lets you in on the humanity that makes the United States Special Ops Operator the most feared, and most admired soldier in the world's arsenal.In a world made safe through the sacrifices of these gallant men and women, it is past time they receive the recognition this book so nobly and spectacularly accords them.
Richard Steinberg (a veteran of the intelligence community's special operations) is a New York Times and international best-selling novelist, whose works have been published in 14 languages in 21 countries.
Most lavishly illustrated coffee table books are short on substance, but this elegant overview contains a wealth of useful information for military professionals as well as civilians, because the publisher handpicked authors who know the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) from A to Z. Color paintings by prominent artists enliven events, especially those that predated cameras. Many photographs are exceedingly rare. Fascinating anecdotes further add flavor throughout.
U.S. Special Operations Forces, in short, is a grand reference document as well as an easy read. I strongly recommend it to anybody who wants to know how Army, Navy, and Air Force SOF developed. Readers can also benefit from John Carney's account of SOF performance during Operation Iraqi Freedom, which he crafted after printing began in Hong Kong.
General Robert C. Kingston, U.S. Army (Ret.)
U.S. Special Operations Forces is something to behold. It is filled with new insight for those who are not familiar with SOF, and for those who are, reading between the lines proves that Ben Schemmer and his authors know what they are writing about. This one definitely has a place in our library, and should be in yours too.
Military Book Club
I felt honored to have served with the most professional people in the military. U.S. Special Operations Forces truly does them justice.
Rudy Boesch, U. S. Navy (Ret.)
Navy SEAL and Command Master Chief at U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and contestant on "Survivor"
Lincoln said that "at fifty, a man gets the face he deserves," and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation's U.S. Special Operations Forces book provide the SOF Community with the face it deserves for its unending service to nation as the "Quiet Professionals." The words and photographs portray this dedication and reflect the never ending challenge to meet the ever-changing political and military landscape. Its quality will be a lasting tribute to Ben Schemmer, editor-in-chief.
The authors are to be congratulated for telling the SOF story: as it was, as it is, and setting the stage for what it will be in the future.
Colonel Gene N. Russell, U.S. Army (Ret.)
U.S. Special Operations Forces is a must for every warrior-leader's professional library. From the moment I picked it up I was captivated with its contents. The pictures alone are worth the price of the book! Very impressive!
Moreover, it is a powerful encapsulation of the evolution of Special Operations that poignantly captures the ethos of these unique warrior patriots.The numerous personal photographs are rare insights and depict the fiery determination of men selflessly willing to embrace danger and risk their lives to accomplish the seemingly impossible.It is a pictorial history of raw courage by men who rely on trust and confidence in each other, and their guile and cunning as modern day Spartans....defenders of freedom and the oppressed.
General William F. "Buck" Kernan, USA (Ret.)
Former Commander in Chief, Joint Forces Command
Former Commander, Ranger Regiment Operation Just Cause in Panama
Look for SOWF at NASCAR Races at Lowe's Motor Speedway Oct. 11
Charlotte, NC (Oct. 9, 2003)-- In an effort to raise awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF), Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will display the SOWF logo on all five entries scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend. Please tune in!
The No. 2 AC Delco and No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet Monte Carlos, driven in the Busch Series by Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Kevin Harvick, respectively, will carry the SOWF logo on the "C" posts. The No. 29 GM Goodwrench entry, driven by Kevin Harvick in the Winston Cup Series, will carry the SOWF logo on the rocker panels and the No. 30 America Online and No. 31 Cingular Wireless entries, driven by Steve Park and Robby Gordon, respectively, will carry the logo on the "C" posts.
In addition to displaying the logo on all five cars in Charlotte, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and America Online premiered an AOL /SOWF racecar in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on September 28. RCR ran John Andretti in the No. 90 America Online/SOWF Chevrolet Monte Carlo, where he qualified 25th and finished 15th.
Please join us in thanking Richard Childress for helping us to raise the visibility of the Foundation. You can send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and your note will be forwarded directly to him.
Richard Childress Racing Promotes Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) Five Cars to Display SOWF logo At Winston Cup and Busch Series in Charlotte, NC
Tampa, FL (September 29, 2003) -- In an effort to raise awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF), Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and America Online raced a special paint-scheme of the AOL/ /SOWF racecar in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on September 28. The specially painted AOL/SOWF car, driven by John Andretti, was at the Talladega race only. However, all five Richard Childress drivers will display the SOWF logo on their cars for the October 11th Winston Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"I feel compelled to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation because of my respect and admiration for everyone in the military, and especially those in Special Operations," said Richard Childress, owner, Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc.
"RCR recognizes that at this time our fans are especially committed to supporting our troops abroad. This is something we can do to help raise awareness for the Warrior Foundation and support the critical work they do to provide counseling and college educations for the children of Special Operations personnel who are killed in action or training exercises."
"It's great to team up with an organization like the SOWF to support an exciting driver like John Andretti," said Richard Taylor, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing, America Online. "Clearly Talladega is one of the biggest races of the year and we are thrilled to be a part of it and raise awareness for the Foundation and our exciting new service, AOL 9.0 Optimized."
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Winston Cup cars displaying the SOWF's logo will be driven by Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon and Steve Park and Busch Series cars displaying the SOWF logo will be driven by Ron Hornaday and Johnny Sauter.
"The Warrior Foundation, the 47,000 special operations personnel and the surviving families are eternally grateful to Richard Childress and AOL for their commitment to raise awareness for the Foundation," said SOWF president and CEO Colonel John T. Carney. "The greatest peace of mind we can give to our Special Operations troops is that their children will be taken care of, if necessary," Carney stated.
As our nation continues its fight against terrorism, America depends upon Special Operations Forces -- consisting of Army, Navy and Air Force personnel - to conduct more missions, in more places, and under a broader range of conditions than ever before. On any given day, there are more than 6,500 Special Operations troops deployed in hotspots around the world.
In 2002 the special operations community lost 39 personnel, leaving some 48 children without a parent. Since 1980 America has lost 384 special operations personnel in operational missions or training accidents, leaving more than 450 children without a parent. Today, there are more than 450 children of fallen Special Operations Forces, who should not be denied the education their fallen parent would surely have wanted for them. With nearly 100 children eligible each year for college in the years 2003 through 2010, the Foundation's estimated financial need through 2010 is $25 million.
The SOWF began in 1980 as the Col. Arthur D. "Bull" Simons Scholarship Fund and was created after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt to provide college educations for the 17 children that survived the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One. A tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, SOWF is dedicated to providing college scholarships, based upon need, and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed as a result of an operational mission or training accident. These services are provided throughout the United States, or overseas, depending upon where the surviving children reside. To date, 455 children of fallen Special Operations personnel are involved in the program, of which 65 are currently attending college.
Former Ranger, Michael Smith, Races 50 Miles to Raise Money for Children
Boonsboro, Maryland (Sept. 16, 2003) -- Some of the country's finest long distance marathon runners will be participating in America's oldest ultra-marathon, the John F. Kennedy Ultra-Marathon, on Nov. 22nd. Joining this year's 50-mile JFK Ultra-Marathon in Boonsboro, Maryland is former Army Ranger, Michael Smith.
When Michael Smith faces off against top athletes from around the world, he is doing it for more than personal reasons. Michael Smith is raising money for some very special children - children of special operations forces who died as a result of an operational mission or training accident.
With nicknames like "Commandos," "Nightstalkers" and "Quiet Professionals," Special Operations Forces -- consisting of Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Special Forces and Air Force special operators -- are respected around the world for their discipline and training. The 50-mile JFK Ultra-Marathon is sure to be a challenge for even the most athletic and avid runner.
Not only is the distance a challenging factor, but runners will tackle a rugged, hilly 13-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail through a span from Boonsboro, Maryland, to Harpers Ferry. After a challenging beginning, the runners will then get a chance to ease up a bit along the C&O; Canal, where the monotony of the scenery often lulls overeager runners into forgetting the tow path is 26 miles long. And, runners must remember to eat along the way, no matter how uncomfortable the thought.
Although running in his first JFK Ultra-marathon, the 35-year-old research specialist is no stranger to long-distance running. An avid runner since age 12, Michael Smith completed the 23rd, 24th and 25th Marine Corps Marathons. He is receiving training from his uncle who has completed the JFK Ultra-Marathon five times as well as the Vermont 100.
But, Michael Smith possesses one of the most critical elements of a strong team -- motivation.
As a father of two children and former Ranger, Michael Smith feels strongly about helping those who have lost so much.
"No child's sorrow should be compounded by lost opportunity," said runner, Michael Smith.
You can support Michael Smith and raise money for some special children. You can make a donation online -- please make sure to note that it is in support of Michael Smith and the JFK Ultramarathon.
Special Operations Adventure Race Set for Sept 27
Highlands, NC (June 6, 2003) -- Adventure racers from all over the country will be coming to Highlands, NC to the first-ever Special Operations Adventure Race on Sept. 27, 2003.
According to the United States Adventure Racing Association, the sport of Adventure Racing is sweeping the nation at a phenomenal rate growing by leaps and bounds daily in popularity. Adventure Racing is one of the few sports where just completing a race is often considered a victory. Another driving factor in Adventure racing is the emphasis that is placed on teamwork, rather than individual achievement.
Adventure Racing offers an easy crossover for cyclist, runners and water sport enthusiasts just to mention a few. Adventure races can vary anywhere from 3-5 person teams to the 2 man adventure sprints. The disciplines can also vary from race to race.
The Highlands SOAR is a USARA-sanctioned event, and is classified as a sprint adventure race because of the relatively shorter duration of the event - with most teams finishing the race in six to eight hours, though some of the tope teams in the country might be able to finish it in as little as four-and-a-half to five hours.
Racers will take off running from the Highlands Recreation Park for about 4-5 miles before strapping into safety harnesses and rappelling down a rocky cliff. Once they are firmly on the ground, they hop on their mountain bikes for one of the longest legs of the race - some 20 miles - then they'll hit the water. After paddling for a dozen miles of so, they'll have to run back to the finish line.
If it sounds a bit extreme, that's the way Adventure Racers like it. Ten different awards will be given in two different age divisions, Under 40 and Over 40. In each age division awards will be given to two-man teams, two-woman teams, co-ed teams, single men and single women.
The event is being staged as a benefit for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides educational scholarships for the children of Special Operations troops who are killed in training or in combat.
For more information about the Special Operations Adventure Race, please contact Buck Trott at (828) 526-9912.
Participants can register online for this adventure race at www.active.com (under individual sports)
Team Warrior Foundation to Raise Money for the Children of Fallen Heroes, Racing in the Subaru Primal Quest
TAMPA, FL (June 16, 2003) -- When this year's Subaru Primal Quest, a 10-day, 400-mile adventure race in Tahoe, California kicks off on Sept. 5, top athletes from around the world will be there, including a team of Navy SEALs who are raising money for the children of fallen special operations troops.
Thom Shea, 35, captain of Team Warrior Foundation and a Navy SEAL instructor with 14 years of service, will lead his team over the 400 mile course of mountain biking, rafting/kayaking, fixed ropes, mountaineering and navigation through the Lake Tahoe area. As team leader, Shea brings a wealth of knowledge in night travel and orienteering. The experience Shea gained in last year's USA Supreme 400 mile adventure race will surely make his team a competitive one.
Skilled and strong, Team Warrior Foundation also has one of the crucial elements of a strong team -- motivation.
"Many of my teammates have been killed in the last several years. We would like to be able to give their kids a future. If that means pushing our bodies and spirits to the limits of human endurance to show we still care about our teammates and their families, then so be it," said Shea. "We are very excited to be able to raise awareness and money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF)."
Team Warrior Foundation also includes two other Navy SEALs, Pete Foster, and Joe Ruiz, as well as a Tiffany Grimm. Foster, 35, has completed seven marathons, and won an unofficial first place in the USA Supreme 4 Winds 2002 (400 mile adventure race). Foster, a Navy SEAL with 14 years of service, is the cornerstone of strength for Team Warrior Foundation. His level of fitness coupled with his years of practical application as a Navy SEAL provides the needed determination and fore-thought to win this event.
Ruiz, 33, a Navy SEAL for 11-years, has experience in all components of adventure racing, including experience in climbing, rappelling, rafting and mountain biking. His strength lies in his great attitude and experience navigating.
Grimm, 25, rounds out this co-ed team as one of the premier female adventure racers of today, including competing in Primal Quest 2002. Her athletic ability coupled with her sense of steadiness and strength tie the entire team together.
In addition to raising money for the SOWF, the team hopes to increase awareness of the foundation.
"Most people believe the government takes care of the families when someone in the military is killed in combat or during training, but that is not really the case," said John T. Carney, president/CEO, SOWF. "That is where our foundation steps in. If you are serving in special operations - Navy SEALs, Army Ranger and Special Forces (also known as Green Berets) and Air Force Special Operations - and you are killed in an operational mission or training accident, the Warrior Foundation will make sure your children are not forgotten." The SOWF provides college scholarship grants, not loans, for tuition, books, fees, room and board. Currently there more than 400 children in the SOWF program.
The team is seeking donations from individuals and corporate sponsors to help raise $50,000 for the children of fallen warriors.
The Subaru Primal Quest will be televised on CBS late January 2004.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS TROOPS RUN 335-MILES TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHILDREN OF FALLEN WARRIORS
This coming September, Special Operations Forces will run a 335-mile relay run from Fayetteville, N.C. to Washington, D.C. in four days to raise money for some very special children - children of special operations forces who died as a result of an operational mission or training accident.
With nicknames like "Commandos," "Nightstalkers" and "Quiet Professionals," Special Operations Forces are respected around the world for their discipline and training. As our nation continues its fight against terrorism, America depends upon Special Operations Forces -- consisting of Army, Navy and Air Force personnel - to conduct more missions, in more places, and under a broader range of conditions than ever before. Although these elite Special Operations Forces voluntarily perform dangerous missions as "global warriors" it is not without personal sacrifice.
In 2002, the special operations community lost 39 personnel leaving some 48 children without a parent. Since 1980, America has lost 384 special operations personnel in operational missions or training accidents, leaving nearly 400 children without a parent.
During the four-day relay, special operations personnel will show their courage and dedication in a different way - by running 335-miles to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides educational scholarships to the children of fallen special operations troops.
If you are interested in being a runner in the Warrior Relay Run or providing support, please contact Edie Rosenthal at (813) 805-9400. Also, the Warrior Relay Run coordinators are looking to borrow a Recreational Vehicle (RV) to help transport the runners along the run route. If you have a Class "C" RV and are willing to loan it out during the week of Sept. 7-11, please contact Edie Rosenthal at (813) 805-9400.
Sponsors are still needed to help defray the cost of the Relay Run. If you are interested in donating funds or products, please contact Edie Rosenthal at (813) 805-9400.
Poker Run and Fundraiser Planned for Warrior Foundation
Plant City, FL (June 13, 2003) -- Plant City Motor Sports is hosting a "Poker Run" fundraising event on Father's Day, June 15th. Motorcycle riders (as well as auto and truck riders) can depart from two locations - one in Hillsborough County at Plant City Motor Sports or in Pinellas County at Street Eagle Harley Rentals in Largo. The event starts at 11:00 am and the ride ends at Big Dogs Patio at 103 N. Palmer Ave. in Plant City where participants will enjoy a barbecue and music by southern rock band, Lost Southern Boys.
All proceeds from the Poker Run are going to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides college scholarship grants, not loans, to the children of special operations personnel who are killed in an operational mission or training accident.
$10 registration fee for one poker hand / $15 per couple
$5 if you don't want to ride, but want to join us for the barbecue and music at Big Dogs Patio at 4:30 pm.
- Grand Prize: Trip of your choice! Mexico, Caribbean or Bahamas cruise from Plant City Motor Sports.
- 2nd Prize: 100th Anniversary Harley-Davidson Leather jacket from Lakeland Harley Davidson
- 3rd Prize: New leather vest from Fun Bike Center
- Starting Point (11:00 am)
12505 66th St.
- Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill
1320 Central Ave.
- Born to Ride Saloon
11301 Hwy 301
- End Big Dog's Patio
103 N. Palmer Ave.
- Starting Point (11:00 am)
Plant City Motor Sports
1722 S. Collins St.
- Bailey's Lounge
905 E. Canal St
- US Nilitary Vet
1323 East Gary Rd.
- End Big Dog's Patio
103 N. Palmer Ave.
For more information, please call Edie at (813) 805-9400.
Former Army Ranger Keni Thomas Releases Single To Benefit Warrior Foundation
Nashville, TN (APRIL 28, 2003) -- When Keni Thomas wrote and recorded a song called "Hero" several years ago, his intention was to create a tribute in song to a buddy he lost in 1993 during a dreadful urban warfare battle in Mogadishu. Thomas was a member of Task Force Ranger, and that battle inspired the book and movie "Black Hawk Down."
Thomas left the Army in 1997 to continue his career in music. However, the recent turn of events in the world has once again placed military personnel in harm's way, and prompted Thomas to take the next step with that song. He went back into the studio with award winning producer Brent Maher and acclaimed songwriter Mark Selby to cut a special version of "Hero." All profits from the sales of the single will go to his newly established "Hero Fund," which will in turn benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. It is Thomas' hope that not only will he raise money, but awareness, of the SOWF.
"The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides scholarships and educational grants to the children of special operations personnel killed in training or real world combat," Thomas said. "It provides these children with educational opportunities their fathers would have wanted them to have."
Thomas' expertise in Special Ops has prompted his appearance on CNN Headline News, MSNBC, and Fox News as a military analyst during the past few weeks. Thomas has provided insight into just what the Special Ops Forces are involved with at this time in Iraq.
"There has never been a greater need for Special Operations Forces than right now," Thomas noted. "They are leading the war on terrorism and are often in the heaviest and oftentimes unreported fighting in Iraq.
To learn more about the Hero Fund, please go to HeroFund.com or call 800.448.6369.
Titan Corporation Donates $5,000 to Warrior Foundation
Tampa (February 20, 2003) - Titan Corporation, a company that has been providing comprehensive information and communications systems solutions and services to the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies for the past twenty years, presented a $5,000 check to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation Feb. 20.
"The Warrior Foundation is a phenomenal organization that truly supports special operations personnel and their families," said Sam Clopper, Vice President and General Manager, Titan Corporation.
Titan has had a long association with special operations with many of its employees either having served in special operations or have provided support for special operations.
"Our contribution to the Warrior Foundation is just a small token of the appreciation we have for the men and women who serve in special operations," added Clopper.
With nearly 100 children eligible for college in the upcoming years, the Warrior Foundation has some hefty college bills and every dollar counts.
"The Warrior Foundation is very appreciative of Titan's donation," said John T. Carney, Jr., Warrior Foundation President/CEO. "Our goal for 2003 is to have another $2 million year so we can be closer to our goal of building a $25 million endowment fund by the year 2010. Every check we receive takes us one step closer to those goals."
FERMAN MINI of TAMPA BAY Charity Motor Run a Success
PALM HARBOR, FL (April 5, 2003) - Perhaps it was the beautiful, sunny Florida day that drew several hundred people to the Palm Harbor auto dealership. Or perhaps it was the tiny and unusual British automobile that did it. But whatever the reason for the draw, the Ferman Mini of Tampa Bay 1st Anniversary Charity Motor Run to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation was a big success.
Thanks to nearly 100 Classic Mini and New Mini owners who participated in the Motor Run as well as Carrabba's Italian Grill for providing the wonderful food and the British tribute band, the Shaguars the afternoon was a blast and raised more than $3,000 for the Warrior Foundation and its 425 children.
Special thanks to Ferman Auto, Elaine Diaz, and all who contributed.
Benefit Golf Tournament
Fort Belvoir, VA (March 28, 2003) - The University of Florida Alumni Association of Greater Washington, DC, also known as the DC Gator Club, announced it will be hosting a benefit golf tournament to raise money for the children of fallen special operations troops on April 25th at the Fort Belvoir Woodlawn Golf Course.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides college scholarships, not grants, to the surviving children of special operations personnel who were killed in a combat mission, operational mission or training accident. All proceeds from the golf tournament will benefit more than 400 children who have lost a parent while serving their country. The special operations community includes troops from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, including Army Rangers and Special Forces (Green Berets) personnel, Navy SEALs and Special Boat Unit personnel and Air Force special operations personnel.
Since 1980 the special operations community has lost more than 370 personnel leaving behind more than 400 children. To date, 46 children of fallen special operations warriors have graduated from college.
"The success of our Foundation has always been due to great Americans who graciously volunteer."
If you are interested in participating in the golf tournament or being a sponsor, you can call (813) 805-9400 or visit the DC Gator website at www.dcgators.com
Operation Sunshine: Two SOF Families Enjoy Well-Deserved Florida Get-Away
BELLEAIR, FL (Feb. 21, 2003)-- Mayor George Mariani, Jr. and the Town of Belleair, (just south of Clearwater) recently hosted two special operations families for a one-week vacation in the Tampa Bay area. The program is offered to families who had a loved one killed during "Operation Enduring Freedom." This is the third group of families to participate in what the town calls, "Project Sunshine," a program initiated by the Belleair Town Commission and in association with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Local businesses donated everything from airfare, lodging at a five-star hotel, meals, entertainment and a rental car. Each family's vacation is tailored to meet their needs.
"It is our desire to make the family's visit to Florida enjoyable and let them know that Florida cares," explained Mayor Mariani, "and that they have not been forgotten."
The families of two fallen Navy SEALs, Petty Officer Neil Roberts and Chief Petty Officer Matthew Bourgeois, accepted the Town of Belleair's invitation to a well-deserved vacation in Florida. Patricia Roberts and her son, Nathan, 2 1/2 years, joined Michelle Bourgeois and her son, Matthew, 18 months, as they visited numerous tourist attractions during the week of 11-18 February, including Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, the Lowry Park Zoo and Clearwater Beach.
Prior to departing for their homes up north, the families had an opportunity to meet with some of the residents of Belleair, as well as representatives U. S. Special Operations Command, to include Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire, Senior Navy SEAL at the command and Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, USMC, Chief of Staff and members from the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
"We had a really nice time," said Patricia Roberts. "Nathan may have lost his dad, but we've learned that he has lots of uncles out there to help us," she explained, describing the support she has received from the special operations community.
Las Vegas "Gala Benefit for the Children of Heroes"
LAS VEGAS (Jan 20, 2003) - With only three months lead time, internationally renowned author, Richard Steinberg and his "Working Day Warriors" produced the inaugural "Gala Benefit for the Children of Heroes" to promote the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The organizers recruited and arranged a gala evening packed with award winning performers and entertainers from Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York, including Wilford Brimley, television and movie star, Paige O'Haira, Broadway entertainer and voice of Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and Jimmy Hopper, Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year, to name a few.
With a zero-based budget, the "Working Day Warriors" worked closely with many businesses and organizations for donations, including the only four-star hotel along the "Strip" in Las Vegas, The Four Seasons, who donated the ballroom and hors d'oeuvres for the event. Many businesses donated items for the silent auction, including a weekend getaway to New York City with a room at the Gorham Hotel, a dinner and show at Feinstein's at the Park, and round trip airfare provided by JetBlue. Other auction items included a patriotic-themed autographed lithograph titled, "Freedom" donated by the American Living Gallery in New York City, as well as a "Day at Yankee Stadium" donated by Yankee general partner, Hal Steinbrenner, which included field level club seats, ball caps and jackets. Some of the more unique items at the auction included a rare, autographed first edition "Black Hawk Down" book signed by the author plus numerous military members who were in Somalia during the battle made famous by the movie of the same title as well as two hand-crafted Pysanky-style "Freedom" eggs with an American flag carefully painted on it, plus much, much more.
All in all, some 250 guests were "wowed" by acclaimed jazz singers, headline Las Vegas entertainers, movie and television stars, and magicians. The fundraising gala raised more than $12,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and its 400 surviving children.
Santa's Little Helpers at Boeing Aircraft Deliver Hand-Crafted Toys to Children
TAMPA, FL (Dec. 12, 2002) -- Looking like elves in Santa's workshop, Boeing Aircraft employees and retirees joined together to bring some very special children some handcrafted wooden toys.
For the past several years, the group of volunteers has gotten together after hours and on weekends to craft wooden trains and doll cradles for the children in Boeing's hometown of Portland, Oregon. However, after the tragedy of Sept. 11th, the group decided to send some 150 toys to the families of New York City firefighters and police officers.
This year the group wanted to shift its focus to the military and the families that lost a loved one during the attack at the Pentagon or during Operation Enduring Freedom.
The group has been working on the wooden toys throughout the year in order to have them ready by Christmas. To make the toy extra special to the children, the group personalizes each toy.
"We like to put the name of the child on the cradle or train," explained Mr. Kelly Broomall, "This makes it very personal, and more meaningful to those who make them."
Because of the men and women with big hearts at Boeing Aircraft, some 43 toys were delivered to the children of special operations forces who were killed this past year in an operational mission or training accident.
Runner Turns Marathon into "My Pain, Their Gain" Charity Run
TAMPA, FL (Dec. 11, 2002) -- Randy McCune is starting out the New Year by doing something that some people only dream about - running a 26.2 mile marathon. He is one of thousands of runners hitting the streets downtown Tampa, Jan. 5, competing in the Hops Marathon. To the crowds of spectators lining the streets he will be just another runner - just another number passing them by. But what they don't know is that Randy McCune is one of those quiet heroes who is running not just for himself - but also to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, helping to provide college scholarships to the Warrior Foundation's 400 surviving children.
An avid runner and former special forces soldier, Randy has always enjoyed running to stay physically fit and has completed 14 marathons. The camaraderie enjoyed with fellow runners is similar to that of being in the military, Randy explained.
"Many of the individuals that run these long races regardless of age are very akin to the special operations forces' unique spirit and attributes," said Randy. "For example, accomplishment and self pride, and a belief in mottos such as 'can do,' 'never quit,' and 'help your buddy.'"
It is that belief in helping others that gave Randy, who used to be assigned to 5th Special Forces Group, the idea of running for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Nicknamed by Randy as the "My Pain, Their Gain" marathon, he is hoping to raise some money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides four-year college scholarships for the children of special operations who lost a parent in an operational mission or training accident.
"I wanted to find a way that my running this marathon could spark an interest or challenge to others to contribute to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. I have known comrades from the 5th Special Forces that have sacrificed in Somalia and now in Afghanistan," explained Randy. "Since I am no longer in uniform this is hopefully one small effort I can give on behalf of all special operations warriors."
Contributions can be made directly to the Warrior Foundation by clicking here. Please indicate that the contribution is being made in honor of Randy McCune's "My Pain, Their Gain" marathon.
Navy SEALs Paddle 170 Miles to Washington DC for Children
TAMPA, FL (Dec. 6, 2002) -- It was the first big snow storm for the Washington DC metro area. Snow blanketed the nation's capital region overnight, up to eight inches, causing dangerous road conditions. While the residents of Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC shoveled their first snow of the season, airports cancelled flights and schools were closed, four determined and committed Navy SEALs paddled along the Potomac River into Washington, DC.
It was a long journey - some 170 miles - from Little Creek, Va. to Washington, DC. But to the four kayakers, braving the wintery waters of the Chesapeake and Potomac was worth it.
"We are paddling to raise awareness and money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation," said a Navy SEAL who goes by the nickname, Rip. The Warrior Foundation provides four-year scholarships for the children of special operators who were killed in a combat mission or training accident.
Recent world events, including the loss of special operations teammates, has been a driving factor behind this unique fundraising event.
"Being a father of three, it is comforting to know that the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will take care of my family should anything happen to me," said a Navy SEAL named "Chris."
In two tandem expedition sea kayaks, the four fought the wind, current and extreme cold to complete the event on Friday, Dec. 6. A small crowd of wives, children, parents and media met the kayakers as they arrived at the Washington Canoe Club in Georgetown.
Several media camera crews followed the four kayakers and documented their journey. Look for CBS Evening News, FOX News and Navy/Marine Corps News to air a piece on the kayakers. You can check out the guys in action on Washington Post Online Click here - (you'll need media player to watch the video clip)
A reception sponsored by Northrop Grumman was held at the Key Bridge Marriott, for the kayakers, their families and the sponsors. In addition to sponsoring the reception, Northrop Grumman presented a check for $1,500 and made a pledge to double next year's donation. To date, the kayakers have raised nearly $17,000 in pledges for the Warrior Foundation.
A special thank-you to all supporters, donors and sponsors, including (but not limited to):
- Northrop Grumman
- Kokatat Watersports
- Confluence Kayaks (Wildness Systems)
- Cassidy Associates
- Alligator Marine
- JanMar Door Controls
- Wild River Outfitters
- London Bridge Trading Company
- Washington Canoe Club
- Old Dominion Boat Club
Paddlin' Across the Potomac: How Far into the Winter Months Will One Man
Continue to Kayak Across the Potomac River?
By Edie Rosenthal
It started out as a solution to avoid the crowded commute from southeast Washington DC to Crystal City, Va., explained Dave Power, but somehow it turned into a dare. Power, who has commuted across the Potomac River from Bolling Air Force Base to the Pentagon in his kayak for the past five years, typically puts his kayak away in October for the winter months.
However, this year is different. Someone tossed him a dare too tempting to resist. How many days into the winter months would he be willing to brave blustery winds and sub-zero weather to commute to work via kayak? That is the question many people in the Washington, DC area are wondering. The other question is why?
The answer to the first question is "until the river freezes over," said Power. That reply ties into the second question that also has a simple reply: "to help raise money for the children of special operations personnel and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation."
Power paddles about two and a half miles across the Potomac and beaches his kayak on the other side of the river, where he finishes his commute by walking the kayak equipped with wheels and other gear on a nearby bike trail.
"It normally takes me about one hour and 10 minutes to do the entire route," Power said. "It's a great commute and it's a great physical workout at the same time, plus I can hopefully point some people to the Warrior Foundation so they can help out the families."
Power, who works at the Pentagon thought the dare would be a good way to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides surviving children of Special Operations Forces with college scholarships and educational counseling. Currently there are 400 surviving children of Special Operations Forces who lost a parent in an operational mission or training accident. However, if the special operations community continues to incur casualties as they have in the past, the Warrior Foundation expects to have some 500 students in their program.
Currently the air temperature in the national capital area is in the upper 30's to 40's in the early mornings, and the water temperature is about 50 degrees and dropping. Power recently purchased a dry-suit to keep warm for the winter, and although it takes a few extra minutes to get ready in the morning, it will keep him warm and dry.
"I know it's going to get seriously cold after November and I'm hoping that there are some people out there that wish misery and misfortune on me. But more importantly, I hope they see what I'm doing and care enough to send their money to the Warrior Foundation. If the river does freeze over, I'll have to stow the paddles and break out the ice axes and drag myself across. You can make that happen with your donations" said Power. Is that another dare?
You can help ensure nearly 400 children of special operations forces who have lost a parent in an operational mission or training accident receive the college education their fallen parent would have wanted for them. Making a donation is simple. (Click here to find out how.)
NOVALOGIC AND THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS WARRIOR FOUNDATION JOIN FORCES.
Scholarship fund to benefit from sales of Delta Force - Black Hawk Down
CALABASAS, CA (Nov. 7, 2002) - Entertainment software developer and publisher NovaLogic, Inc. announced that a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the forthcoming PC game title Delta Force - Black Hawk Down will be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).
The foundation provides college scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.
"We at NovaLogic are proud to be associated with the professionals who perform the dangerous and largely unrecognized work that we portray in our products", commented Lee Milligan, President of NovaLogic Inc. "By donating to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation we pay our respects to these brave men and know that our customers join us in thanking them for their service."
"NovaLogic's generosity and support to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation comes at a critical time of need for the special operations community", added John Carney, President of SOWF. "Since America launched Operation Enduring Freedom, special operations forces have lost 32 personnel, leaving behind 34 children who deserve our help."
Set in Somalia in 1993, Delta Force - Black Hawk Down is based upon and around the Operation Restore Hope and Task Force Ranger campaigns and follows members of the elite Delta Force, U.S. Army Rangers, Night Stalkers and 10th Mountain Division as they participate in a number of daring raids against the oppressive Somali warlords in and around Mogadishu.
Delta Force - Black Hawk Down will be available sometime in January 2003. For more information about Novalogic or Delta Force - Black Hawk Down visit the web at www.novalogic.com.
Road Warriors Raise Money for Children of SOF
By Kit Minden and Edie Rosenthal
Risking sore muscles, blisters and chilly rain, some 12 volunteers hit the streets running 335-miles during the 5th Annual Warrior Relay Run from Fayetteville, NC to Washington, DC from Oct. 14-17. But their personal safety, which was never a consideration in past years, lurked in the back of the runners' minds as part of their four-day journey took them through Fredericksburg, Va., the site of two sniper shootings.
However, there was nothing that would stop the runners who had volunteered for this daunting task of covering 335 miles in four days. Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, talked with the runners before he led them on the first five miles.
"Forty-six warriors lost their lives since Sept. 11, and that equates to about 54 children (without a parent)," said Kensinger. "So you are out there running for them."
In a community that is relatively small, the special operations forces has had its share of casualties this past year as a result of combat in Afghanistan, aircraft crashes and accidents. And battlefield promises between soldiers to "take care of my family" are not words that are taken lightly. These are promises made, and promises that are kept. It is that commitment that drove the volunteers to brave injury and danger while running to raise money for the children who have lost a parent while serving in special operations.
Master Sgt. Tim Brandon, who was born in South Boston and grew up in Arlington, VA, came back from a deployment in Afghanistan just a couple of months ago. He saw the Warrior Relay Run as a good "opportunity to support a worthwhile charity," while stationed at the Special Forces Command. Brandon's mother, Bernice Harris met the runners at the Pentagon, along with Sgt. Major Jack Tilley, Sgt. Major of the Army; John Carney, President of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation; and Brig. Gen. Howard Yellen, deputy commander U. S. Army Special Operations Command. Mrs. Harris presented a donation of $286 from her co-workers at General Services Administration. Other sponsors at the Pentagon included Haliburton KBR who donated $20,000; Chang Industries who donated $10,000 and Harris Communications who paid for the lodging in Washington, DC.
The one civilian running was Michelle Gereghty, a Canadian citizen who came here on a teaching exchange program and decided to stay on in Fayetteville as a social worker, counseling children. Her friend Capt. Richard Reese, assigned to U. S. Special Forces Command ran last year and planned to run again this year but had to drop out to attend a memorial service. She only found out the day before the race, but she tied on her running shoes and jumped right in to help. Gereghty saw the run as a way of supporting the children of these special soldiers who now have only one parent. "They have so many more challenges today than we did. We're running for them, and they are going to run our future."
Sgt. Major Pat Traeger (Ret.), who served in the 3rd Special Forces Group has coordinated the Warrior Relay Run for the past five years to raise money for the Warrior Foundation. Before the run, Traeger read the names of the troops killed since last year's run.
"This now makes five years that we have done this," said Traeger to a crowd just before the run began. "Each year I say it doesn't get easier. This year is particularly not easy. The reason it's not easier is this is the longest list that I will have ever read."
As in the past, runners raised money through donations and pledges. Through the generosity of all sponsors, this year's total donations are expected to reach close to $50,000. All donation received from the Warrior Relay Run are allocated for the children's scholarships. Donations for the Warrior Relay Run are welcome.
On behalf of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation - its children - and the special operations community, a huge THANK YOU to all of our sponsors and runners who made this year's Warrior Relay Run a success.SPONSORS
- Outback Steakhouse (Fayetteville, NC and Alexandria, VA)
- Saam's Party Tents - Fayetteville, NC
- Airborne & Special Operations Museum - Fayetteville, NC
- Harris Communications
- Optimer Performance Fabrics - Wilmington, DE
- Sheraton Suites - Alexandria, VA
- Carolina Outlet Mall, Smithfield, NC
- American Legion - Post 17
- American Legion - Post 13
- Disabled American Veterans - NC
- Veterans of Foreign Wars - NC
- Parker's BBQ Restaurant - Wilson, NC
- The Pancake House - Wilson, NC
- Travelodge - Wilson, NC
Capt. Cynthia Hazel, 9th Psyops Battalion
Capt. Garrett Kolo, 3rd Psyops Battalion
Capt. Karen Meeker (Chaplain), 4th Psyops Group
Sgt. Juan Lopez, B Co., 9th Psyops Battalion
Private First Class Jason Roark, B Co., 9th Psyops Battalion
Master Sgt. Jay Forsberg, U.S. Army Special Forces Command
Master Sgt. Tim Brandon, U.S. Army Special Forces Command
Capt. Gilbert Barrera, U.S. Army Special Forces Command
Sgt. Major (Ret.) Pat Traeger, U.S. Army Special Forces Command
Sgt. First Class Michael Saragosa, U.S. Army Special Forces Command
Sgt. First Class Ubaldo Herrera, U.S. Army Special Forces Command
Michelle Gereghty, Civilian
Benfit Golf Tournament Held To Raise Money For The Children Of Fallen Special Operations Warriors
Spring Lake, NC (Sept. 6) - A Benefit Golf Tournament held Sept 6th at the Anderson Creek Golf Club in Spring Lake, NC raised nearly $4,000 for some very special children - children of Special Operations Forces who died as a result of a training accident or operational mission.
The golf tournament was the idea of Jason Ruffin, golf professional at the Anderson Creek Golf Club which was voted the best new golf course in North Carolina in 2001. Ruffin explained that he felt compelled to help and give back to the community after the tragic events of September 11th. Through people he's met at the golf course, he thought about the men and women at Fort Bragg which led him to the Warrior Foundation.
"I read up on the organization, and I was hooked," said Ruffin, who would like to see the tournament become an annual event. "It is a great cause -- helping the children who lost a parent while fighting for our freedom and defending our country."
Some 46,000 Special Operations Forces - including Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and Air Force special operations personnel - are conducting more missions, in more places, and under a broader range of conditions than ever before.
Since the tragic day of September 11th , thirty-nine Special Operations members have lost their lives fighting the war on terrorism leaving behind more than 33 children. Today, some 370 deserving children exist who should not be denied the education their fallen parent surely would have wanted for them.
That is where the Special Operations Warrior Foundation steps in. The Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Tampa, Fla., provides education counseling and scholarships for children of special operations forces who died in a training accident or operational mission.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is the best way to honor our fallen comrades because their children are the most important and lasting things they leave behind.
NY Yankees Honor Military, Fallen Warriors
It was a day of honor and celebration. It was also one of remembrance and hope. As a sold out crowd watched, Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, U. S. Special Operations Command director of operations, plans and policies threw the honorary first pitch at New York's Yankee stadium to honor the military, July 20, 2002.
The pre-game celebration included military honor guards representing each of the Services, a military fly-by, and a parachute demonstration by the Air Force Special Operations jump team, the STARS. As the crowd cheered and saluted the military, few paid attention to the mother standing on the sidelines with her two sons.
Trish Rierson and her two sons, Jacob, 13 and Kaleb, 11, were being honored by the Yankees as they remembered her husband, Matt, was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism in the now famous battle in 1993 depicted in the movie "Black Hawk Down." Sgt. First Class Rierson led a team that captured 24 of the Somali warlord's followers and then helped guide a lost convoy of U. S. vehicles back to its base. Rierson was killed two days after the battle by a random mortar round fired at a U. S. hangar.
The Riersons were special guests of the Yankees' general partner, Hal Steinbrenner, who volunteers at the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, headquartered in Tampa, as a foundation director. Rierson and her two sons were out on the field to receive a baton that was parachuted into the Yankee Stadium in honor of her husband by the STARS. They also received baseballs signed by pitcher Dave Wells.
Several months after Rierson received the tragic news about her husband's death, she received more news that gave her -- along with her sons -- hope. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was going to make sure her two sons received their college education.
"It is just a huge burden that they lifted from me," said Rierson of those who run the Foundation.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money through a variety of means, but primarily through private and corporate donations. Yankee pitcher, Dave Wells, made a personal donation of $25,000 during the pre-game events to John Carney, president/CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
The Foundation is currently committed to providing scholarship grants -- tuition, books, fees, room and board, and living expenses -- to over 370 SOF children who lost a parent as a result of a training accident or operational mission. Since that tragic day of Sept. 11th, forty special operations forces have lost their lives leaving behind more than 38 children. The goal of the Foundation is a simple one: To provide surviving SOF children with the college education their fallen parent would have wanted for them.
As the Combined Federal Campaign season nears, the Warrior Foundation asks that anyone who wants to "Honor the Warrior Spirit" consider giving a gift to CFC# 2124. The Warrior Foundation is the best way to honor our fallen comrades because their children are the most important and lasting things they leave behind.
AEGON USA Inc. Donates $400,000 to the Warrior Foundation
Don Shepard, Chairman of AEGON USA Inc., presented a $400,000 check to the Warrior Foundation at a dinner held at the Army and Navy Club in Washington D.C. The donation was made in behalf of the employees of AEGON. First Command, a financial planning corporation based in Fort Worth Texas hosted the dinner for the over 150 guests. The Master of Ceremonies was Mr. Jody Powell, former Press secretary for President Jimmy Carter, and the guest speakers included LTG Doug Brown, Commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command; the 107th Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, and Congressman Bill Young from St. Petersburg Florida.
Hurlburt Field Company Grade Officers Council Golf Tournament Raises $1000
The Hurlburt Field Company Grade Officers Council hosted a golf tournament to raise funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. We are very grateful to them and to all who participated in the event which raised $1000.
Halliburton Kellog Brown and Root Donates $30,000 To Warrior Foundation
HOUSTON, April 19, 2002 - Recently, the president and CEO of KBR, Randy Harl, presented a check for $30,000 to Colonel (USAF Ret.) John T. Carney, Jr., the president and CEO of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. KBR is the wholly owned engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton (NYSE: HAL).
"We are very proud of the work the Special Operations forces are doing," said Harl. "These service members take incredible risks to their lives to ensure that the American way of life is preserved.
"It is a privilege and our duty to help ensure that they don't die in vain and that their children receive the support they need for their higher education goals. In addition, we challenge other companies who support our Armed Forces to get involved in supporting the children of these very special and courageous men and women."
"This is a time of need for the Special Operations community," said Colonel Carney. "Since the beginning of ENDURING FREEDOM, Special Operations forces have lost 26 personnel, leaving behind 22 surviving children who will need our help in the future. This check from KBR will help to ensure that these children will receive a college education."
Founded in 1980, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation was initially called the Colonel Arthur D. "Bull" Simons Scholarship Fund. The Foundation's mission is to provide a college education to every child who has lost a parent during an operation or training mission.
The Special Operations Command includes Green Berets, Rangers, Navy Seals, Air Commandos and other elite units. The members of these units carry out presidential orders to combat terrorism, weapons proliferation, large-scale drug trafficking, insurgencies, and other threats to U.S. national security. These missions come at a high cost. While Special Operations units comprise less than 2.5 per cent of all active duty forces, they account for 19 per cent of all combat deaths since 1980 - a casualty rate eight times that of conventional U.S. forces.
KBR, the wholly owned engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton, is an international, technology-based engineering and construction company, which provides a full spectrum of industry-leading services for governments and public infrastructure and to the hydrocarbon, chemical, energy, and forest products industries.
Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries. The company serves its customers with a broad range of products and services through its Energy Services Group and Engineering and Construction Group business segments. The company's World Wide Web site can be accessed at www.halliburton.com.
Catherine Cartwright Dreams Big
LPGA Rookie Makes Donation to SOWF
Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb. 14, 2002 -- Catherine Cartwright, LPGA Tour rookie, announced today that she will donate her entire first LPGA or SBC FUTURES Tour winnings check to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). Not only will Cartwright contribute her first tournament check, she will also give $25 for every birdie she makes throughout the 2002 LPGA and FUTURES Tour seasons to the SOWF.
The SOWF provides college scholarship grants, based on need, along with financial aid and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty.
The Foundation is currently committed to providing scholarship grants to 382 children. These children survive 328 Special Operations personnel who gave their lives in patriotic service to the Unites States of America. Of the 382 children, 27 have graduated from college, 37 are still in school, 63 children are in high school, 34 in junior high school, 67 are pre-teen age, and the remaining 154 are either enrolled in the Foundation's family counseling program or are part of the estimated 57 children pending notification of their eligibility for SOWF scholarship grants.
Currently 18 years old, Cartwright is the youngest player on the LPGA Tour. Cartwright recorded 9 top-10 finishes in her rookie season on the SBC FUTURES Tour in 2001. Prior to joining the SBC FUTURES Tour, Cartwright became the youngest champion in history to win the 2000 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. As a resident of Bonita Springs, Florida, and attendee of Estero High School, Cartwright concluded her high school career in the fall of 2000 with her second consecutive FHSAA Class 2A state girl's golf title. In the history of Florida high school golf, only eight other girls have won consecutive titles.
For further information on the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and how to make donations, visit their website at http://www.specialops.org or call Steve McLeary at (813)805-9400 or (813)805-0567.
Cartwright, who currently resides in Bonita Springs, Florida, enjoys marketing relationships with Cleveland Golf, Astra, Titleist & Foot-joy Worldwide, Grandezza Country Club, and John R. Wood Realtors.
Making a DifferenceArticle and photo by Capt Beena Maharaj
For Master Sgt. Rinda Ruppel, 711th airborne communications systems operator, what started out as "taking care of the troops" grew into much more. "I just packed clippers and scissors to give the guys the occasional haircut while on deployment," said Ruppel. Armed with good intention but no real expertise, her customers, numbering about 100 had no complaints.
While getting a haircut, one of the troops suggested that she charge a nominal fee for the haircuts, which could be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). "After that, the price of haircuts went from free to three dollars," said Ruppel.
Teaming up with her on this initiative was Maj Randy Nicholson, 711th pilot. Taking things in a different direction, he came up with "Casino Nite." Using cardboard boxes and other readily available items, he made "game tables" and other props. The troops received 'funny money' to play in return for their donations toward the SOWF.
"The special operations community is very close," said Nicholson. "We wanted to show families the sorrow we feel when we lose someone." When the donations were tallied, a check for $2400 was sent to SOWF from the deployed location.
In addition to keeping the troops looking sharp and boosting morale, this duo raised funds for a worthy cause.
"I am delighted and proud of the efforts of the squadron," said Lt Col Richard Haddad, 711th SOS commander. "Making a donation to the Foundation is our way of making a difference in a family's life. We want to do our part in giving back to the community."
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college tuition to children of fallen special operations forces personnel. It was created after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt to provide college educations for the 17 children surviving the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One.
Today, with special operations personnel conducting more missions, in more places, and under a broader range of conditions, than ever before, the 711th SOS had no problems making the $2900 donation to the SOWF.
"You do not have to be an aircrew member for your family to benefit from the foundation," said George Ferkes, SOWF's local representative. "You just have to be part of a special operations unit."
SEAL Team FIVE Conducts 5-Mile Swim
By LTJG Julia Wiegrefe, NSW Command PAO
The swim was dedicated to SEAL Petty Officer Third Class (PR3) Michael Bearden, who died last year in Lake Elsinore after a parachute malfunction during routine training. Bearden was a member of the Coronado-based SEAL Team Five and is survived by his wife and 2-year old son.
Members of SEAL Team Five swam five miles through rough, 59-degree water from La Jolla's Children's Pool to Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. The swim began at 8 a.m., when retired Rear Admiral George Worthington, former Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command and member of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation's (SOWF) Board of Directors, sent the assembled swimmers off into the waves. By 9:30 a.m. - almost half an hour earlier than expected - the first swimmer, LTJG Erick Peterson, emerged from the water.
CDR Tom Deitz, Commanding Officer of SEAL Team Five, organized the event with the hope that the swim will attract attention to SOWF and the Naval Special Warfare Scholarship Fund. Following the Naval Special Warfare tradition of taking care of their own, these organizations are committed to assisting children, whose parents died while serving in the U.S. Special Operations Forces, pay for their college educations.
"We chose to hold this event to support these two great organizations because their efforts really hit home here at SEAL Team Five. After we lost Petty Officer Bearden last year, we called the foundations and immediately enrolled his son in their programs," Deitz said.
Support from the community has been extensive.
"Groups such as the Coronado Navy League have already sent donations," Deitz said." I have already received $1,400 toward the cause. Hopefully, with a deadline for donations set for July 31, we will continue to see a lot of public interest."
Bob Rieve, executive director of the UDT-SEAL Association, which co-sponsored the swim with the SOWF, praised the efforts of the swimmers. "The SEAL Team Five charity swim highlights how teammates are never forgotten and their families are always a part of the Naval Special Warfare Family. It is wonderful to see the active-duty SEALs join in this worthy cause. The UDT-SEAL Association was honored to sponsor this swim."
NEW YORK YANKEES DONATE $100,000
The Steinbrenner family and the New York Yankees honored the Special Operations Command and the Warrior Foundation at the NY Yankees and NY Mets game on 7 July. They donated $100,000 from the game to the Warrior Foundation. The day began with the Air Force Special Operations Command STARS parachute team jumping in the American Flag, POW flag, and the New York State Flag.
The Yankees honored Captain Patrick Toohey, a NAVY SEAL, for his retirement after 30 years of service to our nation. His daughter, Colleen Toohey, awed the crowd with her beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. General Tangney, Vice Commander for Special Operations Command, threw out the first pitch.
On 30 August Hal Steinbrenner, on behalf of The New York Yankees, presented a check to the Warrior Fountation in front of the Special Operations Memorial outside the Special Operations Command Headquarters.
Annual Warrior Relay Run
Warrior Foundation Combined Federal Campaign Banner proudly displayed at Gus's Corona Cafe at Ft Walton Beach, FL
Gus Philippou, a Vietnam Veteran, retired from the United States Air Force as a Combat Controller. The Warrior Foundation sincerely appreciates his service to our nation and his help during the 2001 CFC Campaign.