Children of Fallen Special Forces Offered Free College

Special Operations Warrior Foundation logo.
TAMPA (2011-8-9) -

The remains of the 30 Special Operations forces killed this weekend in Afghanistan came home Tuesday to the U.S. Their families, fellow service members and President Barack Obama were at Dover Air Force Base to pay tribute to the fallen.

In the next few months, the Tampa based Special Operations Warrior Foundation will also offer its help – a free college education for the children of those killed.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980 by fellow warriors who wanted to make sure the children of special forces killed in training or action could go to college.

Melinda Petrignani was 8 months old when her father, an Army Ranger, was killed. The Warrior Foundation helped her graduate from DePaul University in 2008. But, Petrignani said they provided more than financial assistance.

“We’re an extended family to all these children,” said Petrignani who started working for the organization about a year ago. “I’m there as a mentor to them, as a friend, as someone they can talk to when they might not be able to talk to their parents.”

So far, nearly 200 children have graduated, 140 are in college and there are commitments by the Special Forces Warriors Foundation to 600 more children who are not yet college age. And that same offer will be made to the children of those just lost.

You can learn more about the four-star rated charity on their web site: SpecialOps.org.

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