Ride for Special Ops ends today

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 4, 2004

FAUNSDALE – A collection of businesses and organizations from Marengo county will continue their fund rising efforts for The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) at the annual Faunsdale bike rally that is continuing this Saturday October 2, 2004.

“HOODLUMS” (Alabama chapter) A Veterans organization, Bob Walker, Howerton Earth Works, Marengo Motor Sports, Dowdle gas, The Digi Shopper, Pride Seafood, Trust Bank, Food World, Win 98.5, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, and Radio Shack are some of the local businesses helping to raise money. This fund rising event isn’t officially affiliated with “The Faunsdale Bike Rally.”

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college scholarships grants, based on need, along with financial aid and educational counseling to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.

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There will be a raffle giving away some great prizes and even be registering people to win a trip to Gatlinburg for six days and five nights that will be held later this year.

“We encourage everyone to come out and join us for refreshments and help us support our troops and their families that are fighting for our freedom and security everyday,” Charles Howerton said, “All the funds raised during this event will go directly to the SOWF.”

It takes a special kind of “quiet professional” to meet the exacting standards of America’s Special Operations Forces. As the war on terrorism continues to unfold, Special Operations Forces will be facing new challenges all too frequently.

In fact, there has never been a greater need for Special Operations Forces than right now and Special Operations Forces will continue to be the force of choice time and time again during this tumultuous period. Special Operations personnel are conducting more missions, in more places, and under a broader range of conditions than ever before.

These missions entail high operational tempos, heavy and unpredictable deployment schedules, personal hardships and, by their very nature, inordinate casualties both in operations and training. Since the Iranian hostage rescue attempt in 1980, America’s Special Operations Forces have suffered casualties at over 15 times the rate of conventional forces.

Most of these casualties occur at an early age, at the beginning of their careers, thus leaving behind families who have yet to accumulate the resources to provide for their surviving children’s college education. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation strives to relieve Special Operations personnel of the one concern, their families that might distract them from peak performance when they need to be and when America needs them to be at their very best. Today, more than 500 such deserving children exist who should not be denied the education their fallen parent would surely have wanted for them. With nearly 100 children eligible each year for college in the years 2003 through 2010, the Foundations estimated financial need through 2010 is $25 million.