For the Kids

It was a tough morning as high school kids of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation 
visited their father’s names on the wall at the Special Operations Memorial, MacDill AFB.
As you know,  I  do a lot of work with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation which provides full college educations to the children of our special-ops personnel killed in training or combat.  This week the SOWF had a week-long camp down in Tampa for a handful of our high school students who are starting the college application process.  They learned first-hand from counselors what the colleges are looking for.  They learned how to write a good essay.  The learned how SOWF can help them throughout their college careers. And most importantly, they learned that they were not alone in their trials.  Through shared stories, camaraderie, and fellowship, they bonded with other kids who have lost their fathers to the perils of military service.  In addition to the challenges of being a teenager, these kids carry a unique burden that so very few can begin to relate to.  Additionally, some of our college graduates volunteered to come in as mentors to help guide the kids and reassure them, that there is indeed a life to live after death.
I had the opportunity to visit and talk to them all about the importance of leadership through the examples we set.  It might seem like tough love to tell them a story about combat. But I think it helped them understand a little better what their fathers fought and died for…..each other.
Our special operations forces are an extraordinary group of men and women who we send to police the world for all of us. They are the tip of the spear. As a result, theirs is a disproportionate loss when compared to the rest of our armed forces.  For those who do not return, we have an obligation to do the best we can to help provide for their families. “No Man Left Behind” applies out here in the real world, just like it does on the battlefield.
There are many programs out there that help the families of our military in various ways.   They are all worthy and absolutely necessary.  Pick one, and do what you can. My personal history has drawn me to the SOWF. Many of the comrades we lost in Mogadishu had kids. I have watched proudly as those same children have grown up and gone on to graduate college. I believe its what their fathers would have wanted.
To learn more about how you can help the SOWF please go to http://specialops.org.