NSF Welcomes New Chairman
The Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) is excited to welcome Vice Admiral (Ret.) Sean Pybus as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors, replacing Rear Admiral (Ret.) Garry Bonelli who completed his term as of January 31st. “Having worked on the Board with my friend and colleague Admiral Bonelli for many years, I know firsthand about the big shoes to be filled, but I’m looking forward to building on this Board’s success today and in the years to come. I believe the legitimate demands expected of the Navy SEAL Foundation will continue to rise - and I have no doubts that the NSF Team and Board will continue to meet those needs,” Pybus stated.
“It’s been my honor to serve as chair of the Navy SEAL Foundation,” said Bonelli. “Our volunteer board, professional staff, and steadfast donor support have helped enhance the resiliency of our warriors and their families who sacrifice so much every day for the defense of our great Nation. I can think of no better frogman than Sean Pybus to lead our Foundation forward. He will inspire both our donors and our dedicated volunteers.” Admiral Bonelli has been on the NSF’s Board as Chairman for the past five years. The organization greatly strengthened its financial security during his leadership tenure and expanded to a second location in order to more conveniently serve the SEAL communities on both coasts. During that time, the NSF also earned unprecedented consecutive four-star ratings and perfect scores according to the esteemed non-profit watchdog, Charity Navigator.
USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) Commissioning
The NSF was honored to be an Admiral Level Sponsor for the commissioning ceremony for the Navy’s newest Zumwalt-class destroyer, USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) on January 26th. The ceremony, held at Naval Air Station North Island, in Coronado, California, was attended by an estimated 5,000 patriots and dignitaries. The USS Michael Monsoor is the second ship in the Zumwalt-class of destroyers and is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor. Monsoor was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Ramadi, Iraq, on September 29th, 2006, where he sacrificed his own life to save his teammates.
10th Annual Tampa Bay Frogman Swim
Kill Cliff was proud to sponsor the 10th annual Tampa Bay Frogman Swim on January 13th. The event hosted 50 Gold Star family members, 175 registered swimmers, 195 kayakers, and roughly 100 volunteers. The NSF is beyond grateful to the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, participants, and donors who make this event successful year after year. This year’s fundraising totals are still being calculated but are estimated to reach over $600,000 in support of the warriors and families of Naval Special Warfare.
Active Duty Wounded, Ill, and Injured Support
This month the NSF supported 33 wounded, ill, and injured requests to include logistical family support, necessary rehabilitation equipment, veteran medical support for combat sustained injuries, casualty assistance funds, medical board stipends, respite child care, and other financial assistance. The NSF is frequently called upon to cover the costs of necessary medical equipment that falls outside of TRICARE coverage but has been deemed essential to the service member’s healing and improved quality of life.
Tragedy Assistance and Survivor Support
On January 1st, veteran SEAL Rod Rhines, BUD/S Class 183, was involved in a serious car accident. Rod passed away a few days later from his injuries. On January 5th, veteran SEAL Dean Silva, BUD/S Class 200, died from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident. The NSF was honored to assist both Dean’s and Rod’s families with Veteran’s Tragedy Assistance Funds.
On January 2nd, Lieutenant Junior Grade (SEAL) David Metcalf died by suicide. Dave was serving at a non-NSW command at Camp Lejeune in support of a United States Marine Corps regiment at the time of his death. The NSF took the lead in supporting immediate needs associated with this tragedy. The Programs team, along with some incredible SEAL volunteers, worked around the clock to ensure Dave’s family was well cared for. They will be included in the NSF’s Surviving Family Programs going forward.
This month the NSF was also called upon to support two NSW families who suffered the loss of a child. In both cases, the NSF provided immediate tragedy assistance funding and support including travel for extended family members to attend the services along with Tragedy Assistance Funds for other expenses that may be incurred.
This month the Foundation received seven new Warrior Transition support requests for NSW members who will be leaving active duty service. The NSF’s Transition Advisor, Mike Turkenkopf, stands ready to assist with tailored support for each of these requests. The NSF is also are excited to share that eight out of ten NSW applicants to Dartmouth Tuck’s - Next Steps in Business Transition Program were accepted!
Warrior and Family Support
The NSF supported 12 requests for Naval Special Warfare Warriors and/or their families under their Warrior and Family Support Program pillar. Some examples of support this month include respite childcare during hospital stays or recovery periods, flights for family members who will serve as caregivers, and meal prep or home care to ensure the family maintains the necessary quality of life to facilitate a successful recovery.