In support of the organization, members of the Special Ops Survivors Outdoor Team, primarily made up of retired and active duty Green Berets, will be attending this year’s Bassmaster Classic held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tulsa, Oklahoma – (February 26, 2016) – Special Ops Survivors Outdoor TEAM members will be attending the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 4 – 6, 2016. The team members, made up of primarily retired and active duty Green Berets, will be at the event promoting the organization, raising awareness of its mission, and honoring a local Oklahoma hero killed in Iraq in 2015.
Special Ops Survivors is the only nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to serving surviving spouses of active duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Special Operations personnel who have died in combat or training since January 1, 1980. The organization embraces and empowers surviving spouses of fallen Special Operations personnel to build healthy post-loss futures as they transition to their new lives by providing individual, group, and peer-to-peer emotional support as well as individual financial support.
TEAM Special Ops Survivors aims to honor the legacies of fallen heroes and survivors’ journeys as well as raise awareness about the organization through athletic events and competitions. Starting initially with mud runs and obstacle courses, the TEAM Special Ops Survivors concept can be utilized to raise funding from any athletic event. From CrossFit competitions and kickball and softball tournaments to warrior dash and fishing tournaments, the events held are only limited by the athletes’ interests. More than just raising funds, these events allow supporters to actively take part in honoring the lives and families of fallen Special Operations heroes. The organization is always looking for athletes who wish to participate and host these events.
“My life changed when I witnessed three fellow soldiers and one canine lose their lives during an attack in Afghanistan. When I had the honor of sitting down with their surviving spouses, one thing became very clear, the impact of Special Ops Survivors. The organization is a vital support for surviving spouses proving necessary resources and critical support during the healing process,” says Mark McCowan, Special Forces Master Sergeant U.S. Army and active TEAM Special Ops Survivors member who has made it his mission to ensure surviving spouses are met with as much support and resources as possible.
TEAM Special Ops Survivors events work to honor heroes like Oklahoma native Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler of Roland, Oklahoma, a highly-decorated soldier, father of four and American Delta Force commando killed in a rescue mission in Iraq in 2015. Wheeler, who was roughly a month shy of his 40th birthday, had at least 14 deployments, most in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wheeler’s surviving spouse is thrilled that he will be remembered and honored by the Special Ops Survivors TEAM during the Bassmasster Classic.
She says, “Some of Josh’s favorite childhood memories are bass fishing with his grandfather in Oklahoma. During Josh’s last visit with his grandfather, they talked about their next fishing adventure but we lost him 11 days before he was returning home from his 14th tour. Josh’s four sons and I are honored that Josh is being remembered by Special Ops Survivors as being the hero he was and that he is part of something that was so close to his heart – fishing.”
Special Ops Survivors Outdoor TEAM members attending the Bassmaster Classic will also help promote a fundraiser sponsored by Salmo Performance Fishing Lures. The company is helping to support Special Ops Survivors at the event through the sale of camouflage hats with the TEAM Special Ops Survivors logo. These have been donated by Salmo as a fundraiser and will be available at their exhibitor space for $10 and those interested can also trade in their own hat for a TEAM hat for $5.
Special Ops Survivors’ programs are currently serving survivors more than 200 survivors across 37 states.