Virginia schoolboy Will Thomas launched Operation Hawkeye following the loss of thirty U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) warriors and a military working dog on 8.6.2011, when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign EXTORTION 17, was shot down in Afghanistan in what remains the largest single-day loss of life in Operation Enduring Freedom.
As featured in Sports Illustrated KIDS, Operation Hawkeye uses sport to honor fallen heroes and aid those left behind. The team numbers in the tens of thousands from across the U.S. “• individuals, businesses, athletes and coaches, and media figures and writers “•working together. OHE works closely with several nonprofit organizations serving the SOF community, and has established fundraising and programmatic accounts with the Navy SEAL Foundation, Red Circle Foundation, Air Commando Association Foundation, That Others May Live Foundation, MARSOC Foundation, Warrior Dog Foundation, among others.
Will Thomas and other mission teammates, including Tap Rack Bang Creative and COMBAT Swag, created the Project FAST ROPE paracord bracelet as part of a youth-led initiative to inform others regarding the service of America’s SOF and raise funds in support of their loved ones. The bands are made in the USA, and are also incorporated into other Operation Hawkeye initiatives involving youth, such as the E17 Free Throw Challenge. Thomas launched Project FAST ROPE was launched through a $1,000 Disney Friends for Change Grant awarded Thomas in 2013.
RE Factor Tactical has teamed up with Operation Hawkeye to help raise money and awareness. 100% of the net proceeds of each sale of the FAST ROPE bracelet are donated to Operation Hawkeye’s program accounts within mission teammate nonprofits.