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Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) was created in 1980 through a battlefield promise at the remote airstrip known as Desert One. The valiant mission, called: OPERATION EAGLE CLAW, was intended to rescue 52 Americans held hostage in Iran. Unfortunately, during the attempt, 8 Special Operations Forces were tragically lost. An enduring promise was then made to America’s Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations personnel to ensure fully funded educations, “cradle to career,” for the surviving children of those that sacrificed their lives then, and, unfortunately would, in the future.

SOWF also supplies financial assistance to severely wounded, hospitalized or ill Special Operations Forces.

Since 1980, there have been over 1,100 Special Operations Forces fatalities, with over 1450 children left behind. 390 students have graduated college, and over 880 surviving children are currently eligible for SOWF programs.

SOWF began its financial assistance to wounded program in 2006. Since then, over 1,100 have become severely wounded, hospitalized or ill. SOWF has provided over 3 million dollars in financial assistance.

There are over 180 students in our program currently enrolled in colleges of universities across the country, of which 80% attend four-year schools. The average annual scholarship award for students is $14,865 (combined colleges/universities and trade schools).

This past spring, SOWF scholarship recipient Samantha Ponder (in photo) graduated from Auburn University. “After four (4) years of hard work, I have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Thank you, SOWF, for your constant love and support over the past four years!  I did it!  I am a college graduate!” Samantha is one of two (2) daughters of Army Sergeant First Class Tre Ponder, who lost his life in 2005 in Afghanistan while assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Her younger sister, Elizabeth, is a junior at Auburn University.

SOWF provides more than a check. When the Foundation learns of fallen Special Operations Forces, we immediately reach out to the family to assure them their child’s or children’s educations will be covered, debt-free. Scholarship funding includes pre-school tuition, unlimited tutoring from pre-school to college graduation, ACT and SAT prep classes, college visits, college tuition, fees, books, room and board, a laptop computer package, study abroad, internship, mentoring, and more. And, once the student completes their education, SOWF maintains communication to make certain the student experiences success in their career of choice.

By supporting the children, and spouses, we are saying thank you to those who lost their lives in the line of duty. To learn more, please log onto: