SOF Support, the nonprofit foundation that offers support to the Special Operations Forces of the U.S. military, is marking the 19th anniversary of the beginning of military operations in Afghanistan by launching an exclusive online auction. The auction will feature one-of-a-kind travel, memorabilia, and other kinds of unique experiences for all types of people and not just for the hardcore Special Operations types. 

The SOF Support auction began at 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 7; it will close at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The complete list of available auction items is available at https://sofsupport.org/shop/.

SOF Support’s largest event and biggest fundraiser, the annual Del Mar Country Club Golf Tournament and Dinner-Gala, was canceled this year due to the coronavirus. Thus, the auction will provide a meaningful and fun way to connect virtually with the foundation’s most ardent supporters.

SOF Support Chairperson Dominique Plewes had the following to say regarding the anniversary:

“It’s almost unfathomable to think that our Special Operations Forces have been laying their lives on the line for 19 years. Many of these families have had children who have grown up knowing nothing other than their father going off to war. People should just take a moment and reflect back over all that has happened in their life in the last 19 years and then think about what it would have been like if a member of their family was essentially at war that whole time. So even though we couldn’t gather in person this year, it became even more important for all of us to create a memorable event experience for everyone who has generously has supported SOF Support in order that we can continue to look after our Special Operations Forces and their families.”

“Just to provide some context of how long our elite warriors have been deployed, 19 years ago, Apple opened its FIRST retail store, The Sopranos was a hit television show, everyone was talking about getting one of those new phones with a camera, and a strange new music device called the iPod, not to be confused with an iPad, was the rage.  It’s been that long.”

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Among the auction items are one-of-a-kind trips to some of the world’s most iconic locations, including Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, South Africa, and New Zealand. There are also a host of trips within the U.S. to choose from, including visits to California’s wine country and the opportunity to play several of the state’s most exclusive golf courses.

Want to take three close friends for a shooting lesson from the experts? You can bid or buy it now and everything is paid for at the range. Winners learn to shoot with members of the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community – SEALs and SWCCs. Your  instructors will  escort you to the celebrated Marine Corps Camp Pendleton outdoor pistol & rifle range complex, where you will be taught how to shoot pistols, automatic and semi-automatic military rifles, and sniper rifles. The course can be adapted to any level of experience from beginner to marksman.

Among the military memorabilia are several nicely done wood carvings from Navy SEAL and Special Forces units, commemorative crossed paddles for CIA/SOF operations, a full-size commemorative Navy SEAL paddle, and a SOCOM wood carving with an engraved tomahawk celebrating the hostage rescue of Dr. James Phillips, an operation where SEAL Senior Chief Edward Byers would be awarded the Medal of Honor. Up for grabs is also a really nicely done Spartan sword that is mounted on a wood plaque and engraved with the “SOF Truths.” Many of these items can either be bid on or bought outright.   

The music lovers out there have a lot to keep their eyes on: Autographed and framed electric guitars signed by the late Tom Petty, the Eagles, Aerosmith, and Van Halen. (With the passing, yesterday of rock guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, that guitar has instantly become more valuable.) Also included are autographed montages of Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, the Eagles, Prince, and many more.

There are also commemorative collages signed by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including John Wayne, the numerous famous actors who have portrayed James Bond, and one signed by all the actors of “American Sniper.”

Sports enthusiasts can bid on several autographed items, including a signed and framed jersey and basketball by the late Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, an autographed helmet signed by the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, and helmets autographed by Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Patrick Mahomes. 

Launched in 2017, SOF Support works closely with the Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Marine Raiders, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), and Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewmen (SWCC) and their families. Its aim is to provide the support the servicemembers need to effectively carry out their operations, keep their families intact, and lead healthy and productive lives after they leave our nation’s service.

For more information about the online auction, or to learn more about SOF Support, visit www.SOFsupport.org.