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Citadel News Service
24 Oct 2011

Citadel family gets help from Special Operations Warrior Fund

Rugby and lacrosse teams to donate VMI game donations to SOWF

Saturday’s Citadel rugby and lacrosse games against Virginia Military Institute will take on special meaning for the players and the coaches. 

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Chad Buehring with his sons Nicholas (center) and Andrew (left) shortly before he was killed in Iraq. Photo provided by Alicia Buerhring.

The games are being played to raise awareness of and money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Tampa, Fla.-based nonprofit organization provides support and financial assistance to families of military personnel killed in combat or training. So far SOWF has provided $2.7 million in scholarship grants, financial aid and support to families of Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps special operations personnel.

“A number of our graduates are serving, have served and even given their lives as special operations officers. They are called 'quiet professionals' for a reason,” said Michael Grimm, lacrosse coach. “I wanted to shed some light on the important work they do every day in the service of our nation and the sacrifice their families have made.”

Since 1980 the SOWF has helped nearly 850 children of 412 special operations personnel go to college. Currently 158 students are enrolled in college thanks to SOWF’s scholarship assistance. Among them is Alicia Buehring’s son, Nicholas. Next year, her son Andrew will be headed off to college thanks to the help of SOWF.

Buehring, who lives in North Charleston, is the widow of Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring, Citadel Class of 1985, who died in 2003 in an attack on the Al-Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad. A Special Forces officer, Buehring had been deployed in Iraq with Psychological Operations for just nine months when he was killed. After he died, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation contacted his family. Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, was the eight-year anniversary of Buehring's death.

“This is the first organization that reached out to us after Chad was killed. It has been awesome to have that connection over the years for questions and support and they have helped me keep my boys focused on what is out there for them,” Alicia Buehring said. 

Nicholas Buehring, 20, is currently a junior at Clemson University. Andrew, “Drew” as he is called, is a standout on the Fort Dorchester High School track and cross country teams. A month ago the 17-year-old applied to The Citadel. Both are interested in following in their dad’s footsteps and pursuing a career in the military. With help from the SOWF, the Buehring boys and their mom don’t have to worry about how to pay for college.

“The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a great organization,” Alicia Buehring said. “I can say enough for what they have done for my family.”

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Proceeds and donations from The Citadel Rugby and The Citadel Lacrosse games Saturday will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Both teams play VMI, The Citadel’s military college rival.

"In addition to supporting the SOWF, this effort gives our cadets the opportunity to give back to the military community and support military families in need,” said Rugby Coach Bill Bell. “We hope this will be the beginning of a relationship that will grow into more opportunities to support the SOWF, and to show their scholarship recipients the outstanding leader development and educational opportunities there are at The Citadel.”

The rugby match begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Stoney Field on Lockwood Boulevard. The lacrosse game against the VMI Keydets begins at 7 p.m. at Johnson Hagood Stadium. Admission is a donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. 

To donate to SOWF fund in support of The Citadel Rugby and The Citadel Lacrosse, go to the “Make a Donation” page at www.specialops.org. Please denote Citadel Lacrosse/Rugby Fundraiser. You can also send a check to:
The Citadel Lacrosse Program
171 Moultrie St.
Charleston, S.C. 29409
C/o Chaplain Joel Harris
Please denote on check SOWF Donation.

To learn more about Chad Buehring and other Citadel alumni who have died in the war on terror, click on this link our Deployed Alumni page.

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