A Promise for a Future
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
In 1980 a team of U.S. special forces attempted the rescue of 52 American diplomats being held as hostages in Iran. Tragically, a helicopter crash during the mission took the lives of eight servicemen. A battlefield promise to care for the 17 children their fallen comrades left behind was the genesis of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Even as the U.S. pulls out of a major conflict in Afghanistan, special operations forces (SOF) continue to be deployed around the world, in hazardous situations, performing missions that keep us all safe.
ARA is committed to the support of these soldiers, on and off the battleground.
Through our technical work, we provide technology and tools to help warfighters achieve their missions. These soldiers have needs on the home front as well.
This year, ARA will again partner with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) in support of U.S. SOF warfighters. Since its inception in 1980, this non-profit foundation has continued to meet its promise to care for the children of fallen soldiers. The SOWF mission is to provide the opportunity for a college education to every child who has lost a parent while serving in the U.S. Special Operations Command and its units, during an operational or training mission. The foundation provides scholarship grants to these children to cover tuition, books, fees, room-and-board, computers and printers. In the last 34 years, 94% of these scholarship recipients graduated their program – well above the national average.
In addition to education assistance, the SOWF also meets crisis needs of soldiers’ families. The program provides immediate financial stipends of $3,000 to help with unexpected expenses incurred (travel, child care, etc.) to special operations personnel who are severely wounded in the course of their duty. To date, the foundation has provided more than $2 million to the families of wounded SOF troops – one family at a time, within 48 hours of the incident.
The SOWF continues support to soldiers and their families through immediate and ongoing education, family counseling, and advocacy support. The program maintains contact with families, and works proactively to help children attain their post-secondary education. A licensed clinical social worker helps families who need assistance with learning disabilities, academic challenges, and other counseling needs.
In 2013 the SOWF provided $4.4 million in program services to beneficiaries. Sadly, the number of families entering the program continues to grow. ARA is committed to come alongside the SOWF and help keep its promise to fallen soldiers through matching employee donations to the organization. Let’s work together to make certain the families of SOF know we appreciate their sacrifice.