Patriot Health Alliance Makes Another Donation to Special Operations Warrior Foundation

As you are probably aware, the Patriot Health Alliance (PHA) makes regular financial and product donations to a number of organizations. Some of these groups support U.S. active-duty troops and veterans, as well as their families. 

Former Navy SEAL and Patriot Health Alliance contributor Cade Courtley brought another worthy organization to our attention. It’s the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).

In response, PHA donated $5,000 to SOWF in connection with each of the past three Veterans Day holidays (2019, 2020 and 2021).

Today I’d like to tell you about this fine organization. Including what they do and how they benefit veterans’ family members.

Help from cradle to career 

SOWF ensures complete post-secondary educational support and additional educational opportunities “cradle to career” for eligible surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces. As well as children of all Medal of Honor recipients. 

SOWF also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded, ill and injured Special Operations personnel. 

Here are some statistics from the SOWF website:

  • More than 1,100 Special Operations Warriors have lost their lives since 1980.
  • The organization is currently committed to funding education for more than 800 children of fallen Special Operations Warriors and children of all Medal of Honor recipients.
  • More than 400 children have graduated college through the support of SOWF funding and dedicated partnership with the Scholarships & Family Outreach team.
  • SOWF provides immediate financial assistance to 1,168 severely wounded, ill and injured Special Operations Warriors requiring hospitalization.
  • There have been 1,530 surviving children of fallen Special Operations Warriors since 1980.

A heartfelt recommendation

SOWF is near and dear to the heart of Cade Courtley. The former Navy SEAL Platoon Commander, sniper and author of the best-selling SEAL Survival Guide knows first-hand the sacrifices of brave men and women who keep our country free.

“I’m proud to collaborate with the Patriot Health Alliance, which supports veterans all year long,” he said.

“I recommended the Special Operation Warrior Foundation because their mission is to support education for the families of fallen Special Operations heroes. There’s no need for families to apply for help. This group proactively reaches out to give a hand.

“Plus, they also help out military families when loved ones are hospitalized from the wounds of battle. Families can focus on being by their warrior’s bedside. And start the long road to recovery together.”   

It all started in Iran

The seed for SOWF was planted more than 40 years ago. In late 1979, some 3,000 militant students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking 63 Americans hostage.

Some of those hostages were freed quickly, but 52 remained in Iran while negotiations for their release began. By April 1980, President Jimmy Carter approved a military rescue operation.

Named Operation Eagle Claw, the plan involved the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Unfortunately, three of the eight helicopters that left the USS Nimitz experienced mechanical failures, halting the mission.

Worse yet, one of the departing helicopters collided with an MC-130 (another special mission aircraft), destroying both aircraft and killing five Air Force servicemen and three Marines.

A battlefield promise fulfilled

Those eight servicemen left behind 17 children. Remaining servicemen made a promise to provide full educations for the surviving children of those lost in the line of duty. 

Dedicated in 1983, the Iran Rescue Mission Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery consists of a white marble column with a bronze plaque listing the names and ranks of those who lost their lives during the mission.

Three of the men – Major Richard Bakke, Major Harold Lewis Jr. and Sergeant Joel Mayo – are buried in a grave marked by a common headstone, located about 25 feet from the group memorial.

A documentary depicting the events of Operation Eagle Claw and the tragedy at Desert One base in Iran was produced in 2019.

Assisting throughout the academic journey

SOWF provides preschool funding for children ages 2-5; private tutoring for students in kindergarten through college graduation; and college planning workshops for high school students.

Plus college scholarships including tuition, room-and-board, books, fees, transportation, miscellaneous expenses, a laptop and printer.

As well as college-to-career transition assistance. Including coaching, mentoring and career prep programs. And funding to support internships. 

Immediate financial support also goes to severely wounded, ill and injured Special Operators requiring hospitalization.    

Donations are appreciated

Alejandro Villanueva is an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. Here’s what he says on the SOWF website.

“Having served in the military and our Special Operations community, I believe it is important that we honor the fallen by taking care of their children with fully funded college educations and additional educational opportunities throughout their academic journey.

“I would encourage everyone to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation in their mission to honor the sacrifice of our Special Operations personnel and Medal of Honor recipients by funding the education of the children they left behind. They can’t do it without you.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to SOWF can visit their website (specialops.org) and click on “Ways to Give.”

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