America’s Special Operations forces (SOF) play a vital role in the defense of our freedom. SOF warriors are “skilled professionals” in every respect. When one dies, many are impacted: spouses, children, parents and siblings. How do we honor those who sacrificed all for our country and help their families re-build? We unite concerned citizens, organizations, and enterprises dedicated to this mission under the banner of Operation Hawkeye (OHe).
Will Thomas, a Virginia schoolboy, launched OHe to honor 31 SOF heroes killed 8.6.2011 in Operation Enduring Freedom - the worst single loss-of-life day in the war in Afghanistan, and in the history of Naval Special Warfare. The fallen heroes of Extortion 17 left loved ones behind, including LCDR (SEAL) Jonas Kelsall, whose widow grew up in Will’s hometown. Will set out to use his gifts with a basketball to honor Jonas and his teammates and rally support for Ms. Kelsall and others like her. This effort would rapidly grow into a national charitable endeavor involving tens of thousands of individuals, enterprises, and teams. Operation Hawkeye unites the public with the SOF and basketball communities to close an awareness gap regarding the sacrifices of SOF warriors and needs of their families. Basketball shooting challenges, applied social media, gear sales, and other efforts honor the fallen, inform others of their heroism, and advance actions that support their loved ones and related causes working with leading supporting organizations, such as the Red Circle Foundation, Air Commando Association Foundation, Navy SEAL Foundation, and MARSOC Foundation, among others. close