As most of you probably know, the United States lost many honorable military service members on August 6, 2011 as the result of a helicopter crash in the war zone of Afghanistan. We lost Navy SEALS and Special Warfare sailors, and members of both the Army and Air Force. It’s also been widely publicized the most of the SEALS lost were members of SEAL Team 6.
What you may not know is that SEAL Team 6 is based here in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the place Customer Magnetism calls home. And this national loss has hit our town hard.
Flags everywhere are at half-staff. The Commonwealth of Virginia declared an Official Day of Mourning. Tributes and memorials are being held for the fallen, while fundraisers are popping up everywhere to help the loved ones left behind who have to carry on with living. The SEAL family is a tight-knit group in which members all know and support one other, and they’ve been dealt a massive blow. As they draw together to support their own and collectively deal with their grief, as a community we’ll rally to support them – but this tragedy goes beyond the scope of loss any SEAL team has dealt with in the past.
Fortunately, there are ways for those who aren’t direct members of the SEAL community to lend a helping hand. The Navy SEAL Foundation aids Navy families who have lost their service members by providing financial, educational, and emotional support. This foundation benefits all Navy Special Warfare personnel, so every family who lost a member of the Navy in the helicopter crash will receive assistance from the foundation. To quote their Chairman from an In Memoriam note on the home page of their website, “When a warrior falls, the Foundation is prepared to take the burden of cost away from the families.”
Of course, while we locally are mourning the SEALS, we also remember the loss of the other service members based across the country who also gave their lives. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation supports the families of special ops member across all branches of the US Armed Forces. They’ve already announced that full college scholarships will be provided for all the children of those lost in the crash. This organization, along with the Navy SEAL Foundation, will join our town and our nation in giving these families at least some of what they need to start coping. For that, we all salute them.
If you’d like to support either of these foundations, the links above will take you to each of their websites, where donations can be made online. Both sites also include information on other forms of giving.