I’m always leery about stumping for charities because far too often, you end up reading horror stories about misuse of funds and the hard-earned money that people give in good conscience to help those in need don’t end up going there. But there are two organizations that I will freely support without the slightest bit of compulsion about adding a caveat. One is the Annual HMEA 5K Walk/Run here in Massachusetts. HMEA is a tremendous organization that helps children and adults with disabilities and every year puts on a great event where 98 percent of the proceeds go to their programs.
I know this because after supporting it for several years, after the organization was a tremendous help to my son who was diagnosed with Autism at age 2, I became a member of the planning committee that puts on this event every year.
The other organization I’m speaking about and the purpose of this column is the Green Beret Foundation. The Green Beret Foundation is one of the many great organizations that have started up to take care of Special Operations warriors.
The Green Beret Foundation provides direct and continuous support to the Green Beret Community and its families. The Green Beret Foundation facilitates the transition of Green Berets and their families whether that transition is from wounds sustained in combat, illness, injury or “merely” from numerous deployments and/or retirement.
They provide casualty support for the Special Forces soldiers who are wounded in combat, extended support for those who are seriously injured and require a long rehabilitation program, family support and transition services for those warriors who are leaving the service. Over 88 percent of the monies raised goes to their programs. They have provided support to more than 2,515 Special Forces families since inception and have invested over $8M supporting our community.
The Foundation is constantly being recognized by the Regiment and USSOCOM for the outstanding work that they are doing for the members of the Special Forces who have been injured in the line of duty. While we were in Tampa for SOFIC, we had the opportunity to touch base with some of the great volunteers who give so much time for the troops. Especially Ms. Frances Arias who is well-known within the community.
The Foundation is recognized by the Regiment as a tremendous resource for the soldiers. So what is up with the Rucking for the GBF? Glad you asked.
The good people over at GORUCK are holding a fundraiser with all of the money raised being sent to the people at the Green Beret Foundation. And after the battle recently in Niger where four men of the 3rd Special Forces Group were killed and two others wounded, the need for support from the Foundation is even higher right now. The founder of GORUCK Jason McCarthy is a former Green Beret and serves on the GBF Board of Directors. The President Blayne Smith is also a former Green Beret, and over 75 Green Berets lead GORUCK Events.
GORUCK has created a fun and intriguing way to raise money for the Green Beret Foundation. The cornerstone for all Special Forces training is rucking and so everyone who gets involved in the fundraiser will be rucking for a great cause.
It is done in just three simple steps:
- PRE-PURCHASE A PATCH THROUGH NOVEMBER 15 – Pledge miles & pre-order your patch online with GORUCK. Your donation amount is based on the distance you pledge to ruck: 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2, 50 miles, 75 miles, and 100 miles. T-shirts are also for sale with all proceeds benefiting Green Beret Foundation.
- COMPLETE YOUR PLEDGED MILES – You choose the weight (we recommend 20-30 lbs.) and complete the distance whenever you want (you’re on the honor system). Don’t forget to tag all your social media posts with #RuckingForGBF so we can keep up with all the action.
- GET YOUR GEAR – The beginning of December you will be rewarded for completing your miles and all patches and tees will be shipped. Shipping and handling fees for patches cover overhead and the cost of the patch in addition to shipping.
All of the money raised in this event will go to the Green Beret Foundation for use in taking care of our warriors. Many of our readers will remember the group of former Green Berets from the SF Brothers, a Facebook group who hiked the length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine to raise money for the GBF this summer. We had a piece on those men that you can read here: The former SFers hiked the entire 2200 miles of the Appalachian Trail starting this spring and going thru until the summer. One of the brothers, Will Melton a former 7th SFG NCO hiked nearly 600 miles, over 25 percent of the trail by himself this spring/summer.
A couple of us here at SOFREP, Scott Witner from the Loadout Room and myself have already pledged miles as participants in the fundraiser. For those of you who follow our Special Operations Forces PT Prep workouts, it will be a fun way to pledge some miles to the brothers in the Regiment, while preparing to join their ranks. And the money goes to some really deserving people from the Special Forces community. Ones that really need our help after protecting all of us here.
So….who’s up for some rucking this week?
Photos: GORUCK, Green Beret Foundation