Pair of nonprofits serve MARSOC families in times of tragedy

Logos for Raising Raiders, left, and MARSOC Foundation

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Two foundations formed to help support the families of fallen members of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) is set to play a major role in the wake of the deaths of seven members of that unit in Monday's plane crash.

The victims won't be named until tomorrow at the earliest, though officials have said that of the 16 service members killed in Monday's KC-130, seven are part of MARSOC at Camp Lejeune - six Marines and one Navy corpsman.

Barely two years ago, the MARSOC Foundation and Raising Raiders kicked into high gear after seven Camp Lejeune Marines were killed in a helicopter training accident in Florida.

"What's amazing about our community is that they rally behind the families like you wouldn't believe," said Simone Maguire, the Executive Board Chair for Eastern North Carolina-based Raising Raiders.

Raising Raiders was founded by four wives of MARSOC Raiders. The nonprofit provides anything from food and childcare to financial assistance with funeral expenses.

Nationally, the MARSOC Foundation is preparing to help the families of the victims affected by this crash.

"The most important thing for us right now is working hand in hand with leadership and the head of MARSOC to just be standing by and as soon as specific needs are identified we're gonna be ready to jump on that," said Tyson Stahl, the Director of Strategic Engagement for the MARSOC Foundation.

Both organizations often work together. Maguire, who is a wife of a MARSOC Raider, wants every family to know they are not alone.

"We'll do everything we can to make sure they feel like they're still a part of our family and part of our community. Anything that they need, they can come to us," she said.

Raising Raiders has a Crowd Rise page up for donations - they have already raised more than $12,500 for the families of those killed. They will also be hosting a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. at the Hwy. 55 Burgers and Shakes in Hampstead off US 17, with all proceeds from the event going to the families in need.