On August 6, 2011, a tragedy shook the military community and Americans everywhere. In a single instance, America lost 30 military service members, many of whom were members of the Navy SEAL community—and one military K9– when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was downed in Afghanistan.
In the wake of the unimaginable tragedy, a mission was born. Following the downing of Extortion 17, a fundraising WOD—hosted at more than 430 gyms around the country with more than 10,000 participants—raised $300,000 over a four-week period to support the 30 families affected. This prompted the organizers to create The 31Heroes Project to remember our fallen heroes and take care of their loved ones.
Humbled by the massive response and inspired by the impact on the families of these heroes, 31Heroes recognized an opportunity to reach even more families. Soon, new events and WODs were organized with the help of a growing network of passionate volunteers.
Today, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we assist athletes and event organizers around the country with tools and resources to continue the legacy of selflessness and comradery of August 6, 2011.
Through strategic alliances with other organizations we can ensure that all proceeds directly fund programs that support service members and their families, including the Navy SEAL community.
Since our first event in 2011, more than $1.5 million has been given back to our nation’s heroes and their families through grant-making opportunities and partnership programs. In 2015, The 31Heroes Project launched the initiative to send a designated number of veterans to distinguished brain centers across the country to receive cutting-edge treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury.
They’ve left behind more than just memories. They’ve given us a legacy to honor. Together, we can ensure the mission to honor the fallen lives on and veterans are not forgotten when they return home.