I set up this page to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. When I first established this fundraiser, my goal was just $1,000. It turned out I had underestimated the generosity and the reach of my network of friends and family, because we blew that goal out of the water within weeks. My goal now is to reach $10,000 in 2016.
I have been inspired by countless individuals and groups over the years. The reality is, we all have something about us that is capable of inspiring others. Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a truly inspiring charity for a truly inspiring group of people. SOWF provides college tuition funds to the children of Special Operators who have lost their lives in the service of our country. In addition, SOWF provides emergency monetary support to personnel who suffer serious injury in the line of duty so that they're families may travel to be with them in the hospital.
The foundation provides these services to Special Operators in every branch of the U.S. military. I think the hard work and sacrifice these servicemembers make for their country, often quietly and thanklessly, speaks for itself. If you've had the pleasure of knowing any members of our country's Special Operations forces, you'll probably agree that they are some of the most mentally and physically driven people you've ever met.
So why am I raising funds for SOWF? This is an organization that gives back to servicemembres and their families who have given everything for you and me. These are individuals who endure intense physical and mental conditioning to prepare their bodies and minds for intense, often high-risk, operations. They volunteer for this responsibility, knowing the risks, because they want to make the world a safer place. And they don't always make it back. I think about that a lot when I'm on the trail during an ultramarathon, struggling to take another step or to pick myself up off of a log on the side of the trail in the middle of the night. I'm often reminded of it in times like that when I am taking my body to its limits. But I do it for myself. Our nation's Special Operators regularly take their bodies to extremes so that they can fight for our freedom. This fundraiser supports those who literally gave everything they had; those who protect us, inspire us, and deserve our thanks; those who remind me, when the going is rough, that I haven't given everything.
To all the members of our nation's Special Forces, and their families: thank you. Thank you for the protection, the inspiration, the service, and the sacrifice.
To everyone else: If you feel the same inspiration I do and you feel compelled to make a donation of any size to SOWF, then there are a LOT of people who will love you for it! Even if you do not wish to contribute, thanks so much for taking the time to read this and check out SOWF - please help spread the word!
Below is a more detailed description of SOWF from their website:
Created in 1980, Special Operations Warrior Foundation is devoted to providing a college education to every child who has lost a parent serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps during an operational or training mission under the U.S. Special Operations Command. This includes over 70,000 military special operations and support personnel assigned to units throughout the United States and around the world.
The Warrior Foundation is currently committed to providing scholarship grants to more than 950 children of the 866 Special Operations personnel who have given their lives for their country since 1980, including those who died fighting our nation's war against terrorism as part of "Operation Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan and the Philippines as well as "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Currently, 214 children of fallen special operations warriors have graduated from college with the assistance of the SOWF. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate $3,000 cash grants to personnel seriously wounded in the line of duty. Once notified of a special operations soldier, airman, sailor or Marine hospitalized with a severe injury, the SOWF immediately sends funds to the service member (or his/her designated recipient) so family members can immediately travel to be at their loved one's bedside. Since this program began in 2005, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has provided over $1.8 million to wounded special operations personnel.