Mission & History
Established to honor the 31 Americans killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, The 31Heroes Project exists to support the families of all fallen military heroes.
Funds raised from the “31Heroes” WOD are split equally among our partnering organizations: Snowball Express, the Travis Manion Foundation‘s Challenge Grants program. We’re excited about the ways these organizations are honoring the fallen and making a difference in the lives of military families, and we hope you’ll check out the links to their sites to learn more.
Snowball Express has a mission of “creating hope and new memories for the children of our fallen military heroes.” They organize all-expense-paid gatherings for military kids who have lost a parent in action during which the kids are treated like royalty and get the opportunity to meet and build relationships with other kids just like them. We believe the folks at Snowball Express are making a huge difference in the lives of so many of our heroes’ children.
The Travis Manion Foundation has a mission of “assisting our nation’s veterans and families of Fallen Heroes.” Funds given to the Travis Manion Foundation will be going to a very cool program they do called Challenge Grants. These grants are given to surviving families who complete a project of their choice to keep the memory of their loved one alive (think service projects, education, physical challenges, etc). These grants are a beautiful way to bring families together to honor and remember their loved one and keep their memory alive for many years to come.
The 31Heroes Project was conceived in response to the downing of Extortion 17, a Chinook military helicopter, in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011 killing 30 military service members as well as one military working dog. Many of the fallen were Special Operators from the Navy’s SEAL community.
Men and women from all branches of our armed forces give their lives every day in defense of our freedom, sometimes with minimal recognition for their sacrifice or their family’s sacrifice. The events of August 6, 2011 drove us to recognize our responsibility as Americans to take care of the surviving families of this particular tragedy, but also to take action in support of all families of our fallen military heroes. Thus, the 31Heroes Project was born.
Our first event was a fundraiser workout held four weeks after the day of the crash. In that short time, over 430 gyms hosted an event, more than 10,000 people participated, and $300,000 was raised and given directly to the 30 families affected.
Through this event we quickly discovered that many of us in the CrossFit community have a strong desire to support families of the fallen. If we could do this much together on such short notice, how much more were we capable of?
We are humbled and grateful for the sacrifice of these 31 and because of it, we are committed to showing each family that has sacrificed a loved one in service to our country that we support them and stand behind them. All funds raised will go to programs that support surviving military families.