Why a Special Operations Commander joined the SoA team

Dear Friends,

I retired from the United States Army this summer after 32 years of active duty service. During that three-decade span, I rose from the rank of private to become a one-star Special Operations General in charge of the U.S. Special Operations Command-Africa. I had ten combat deployments in my career. I saw the toll war takes on the young men and women who serve our nation. And, I experienced it personally. When I took off the uniform for the last time, I made it my life’s mission to continue fighting for the wellbeing of our service members and veterans. That’s what motivated me to join the Spirit of America team as a member of the Advisory Board.

I have more than 10 years’ experience with Spirit of America. I got to know SoA in Afghanistan, where they supported my Special Forces teams’ efforts to build security and stability at the village level. More recently, as the commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces in Africa, I worked with them in 11 countries across the African continent. I saw firsthand SoA’s positive impact on our missions. Their people supported our work at the ground level, directly providing needed assistance to the local population and helping address the root causes of violence and suffering. SoA has saved thousands of lives. They’ve brought prosperity, dignity, and a better life to those who need it most.

Even more importantly in my opinion, Spirit of America is having a direct impact on our troops – the men and women who have sacrificed so much over the past 16 years. I know the very heavy price we pay when we go to war: witnessing devastation, exposure to combat and blasts, and feeling the pain of those who lose friends and loved ones. I have lived it and my family has gone through it with me.

What better way to take care of our soldiers than by preventing conflict from breaking out in the first place? That’s what makes me a believer in Spirit of America. They’re working alongside our troops in some of the world’s most challenging places, employing a preventive approach, helping solve little problems before they turn into big ones, and keeping our sons and daughters out of combat. I saw them do it in villages in Afghanistan, and I’ve been there when they’ve done it across Africa. SoA is proof that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I’m not in the Army anymore but I will always serve my country. One of the best ways for me to do that is to support the work of Spirit of America. SoA has made an important difference to our great nation, to the troops I commanded and to me personally. Your support made that possible. Thank you. I’m excited to be part of the Spirit of America team with you.


Don
U.S. Army, Retired

You can learn more about me here.

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.