The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations personnel who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel and their families.
Why Is the SOWF Needed?
It takes a special kind of "quiet professional" to meet the exacting standards of America's Special Operations Forces.
As the war on terrorism continues, Special Operations Forces will be facing new challenges all too frequently. In fact, there has never been a greater need for Special Operations Forces than right now. Special Operations will continue to be the force of choice, time and time again.
Who serves in Special Operations? Nearly 70,000 Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps personnel, including Army Special Forces and Rangers, Navy Small Boat Units and Navy SEALs, Air Force Combat Controllers, and Marine Corps special operations personnel.
The specialized teams are doing more, going more places, and working under a broader range of conditions than ever before. This includes missions that are conducted quickly; and that require frequent and unpredictable deployment schedules, personal hardships, and casualties both in operations and training.
Unfortunately, these deaths occur at an early age, at the beginning of their careers, leaving behind families who have yet to accumulate the resources to provide for their surviving children's college education.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation strives to relieve special operations personnel of the one concern --their families -- that might distract them when they need to be (and America needs them to be) at their very best.
Today, more than 900 deserving children have survived Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps special operations personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. These children should receive the education their fallen parent surely would have wanted for them.
SOWF Will Be There For Special Operations Families
The Foundation made a pledge and a commitment to all the men and women serving in U.S. special operations that if they lose their life in combat or training, the SOWF will provide a post secondary education for all of their surviving children. The financial resources necessary to honor our pledge has been determined by a third party actuarial firm to be $76 million.
In 2010, the SOWF provided $4.8 million in program services to its beneficiaries. Sadly, the number of children being added to our programs continues to grow as the demand is increased for special operations missions. Therefore, we must continue in our fundraising efforts to meet the anticipated need for scholarships.
Helping Families Reach Their Wounded Loved Ones
Because of the fast pace and active involvement of special operations, the number of personnel who are wounded during operations or training has increased significantly since Sept.11, 2001.
Although there are numerous charities and other organizations that assist military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, SOWF has learned that one of the most important challenges our families face is getting to their hospitalized loved ones as quickly as possible.
We fulfill this need by providing $2,000 immediately to family members, so they can travel to be bedside with their loved one at the hospital during the crucial first days.
To date, the SOWF has provided over $1.3 million to the families of severely wounded special operations personnel.