“He told me ‘I married you because I think you are strong enough to handle it’ And I think with this organization I can”
-Surviving Spouse of a special operations Army Personnel
After 20 years of service to the Special Operations community, Special Ops Survivors has touched the lives of over 280 surviving spouses and their families.
In early 2002, word came that a Navy SEAL, Neil Roberts, had died in combat in the mountains of Afghanistan. A Navy SEAL felt compelled to do something to take care of the family Neil had left behind. The Navy SEAL cut out a picture of Neil, made up a flyer and asked the owner of McP’s (a local Coronado, California bar) if he would agree to host a fundraiser in Neil’s honor. The owner agreed and the makeshift fundraiser yielded nearly $1,100. Even though no further solicitations were made, donations kept coming in. Shortly thereafter, a total of $2,900 had been raised for Neil’s wife and child.
Eric Knirk, a businessman from Los Angeles, heard about the fundraiser and felt there was a need to do something more – much more. Eric wanted to assure that not only Neil’s family, but all surviving spouses of Special Operations personnel would be helped. Eric contacted the Navy SEAL. The result of that conversation, and the meetings and conversations that followed, served as the driving force behind the establishment of “Frog Friends” in 2002.
Initially focused on helping the surviving spouses of fallen Navy SEALS, Frog Friends eventually expanded its focus to include serving the surviving spouses of all Special Operations personnel and became the United Warrior Survivor Foundation (UWSF).
In 2012, UWSF became “Special Ops Survivors,” to better reflect who we are as an organization. Developed through a strategic process that included input from our survivors, the new name and logo represents our mission and our vision for the future and underscores our commitment to those we serve. Our organization continues to help survivors of: USASOC, MARSOC, NSWC & AFSOC.