Houston’s 3rd Annual Navy SEAL Foundation Evening of Tribute

We are so proud to have the privilege of co-hosting the 3rdAnnual Houston Navy SEAL Foundation Evening of Tribute on Wednesday, February 3rd at 7:00p.m.This year’s event, held virtually due to COVID-19, will feature three inspiring speakers: retired U.S. Navy SEAL and U.S. Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Jessica Buchanan, who was rescued by SEAL Team Six after being kidnapped in Somalia, and Rear Admiral and retired Navy SEAL Richard A. Rodriguez.

Houston’s 3rd Annual Navy SEAL Foundation Evening of Tribute recognizes the courage, commitment and sacrifice of the Naval Special Warfare community, while giving guests and participants a chance to show their gratitude and support by raising money for and awareness of the Navy SEAL Foundation as it expands in Texas.

My wife Christine and I, along with fellow co-hosts Elizabeth and Gary Petersen, Ellen and John Rutherford, and Nicole Hodge and retired Navy SEAL Will Hodge are honored to be part of this important event to support our Navy SEALs. The Navy SEAL Foundation’s mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare Community and its families. Though COVID-19 has slowed the lives of some of us, SEALs keep going, protecting our country’s citizens and values throughout the world.  This annual event helps support their families in Texas, home to so many SEAL warriors past and present, including U.S. Congressman Dan Crenshaw who serves the 2nd Congressional District of Texas.

The career of Crenshaw’s  father in the Texas oil and gas industry moved his family all over the world, and he says this deepened his desire to serve America.On his third deployment as a SEAL, he was hit with an IED blast in Helmand province, Afghanistan. That blast destroyed one of his eyes and damaged the other.Yet, he went on to deploy twice more with SEAL Team Three and left service with two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor.

Jessica Buchanan was harrowingly rescued in 2012 by SEAL Team Six, known for killing Osama bin Laden.Buchanan was an aid worker in Somalia, raising awareness on how to avoid land mines, when she was kidnapped by Somali pirates and held for 93 days.

Here’s how she described her night-time rescue by SEALS to National Public Radio:

“The next thing I know, somebody pulls the blanket from my face and then I hear a man say my name. You know, I haven’t heard anybody say my name in so long. And then he says, ‘We’re the American military, and we’re here to save you, we’re here to take you home. You’re safe now.’ And I … was just in so much shock I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. The American military, they knew I was here? Americans are here? I’m not alone? One of them just scoops me up, I mean, like a movie, and just, you know, runs across the desert with me to a safe place, and they quickly give me medication and, at one point, form a ring around us because they weren’t sure if the premises were completely safe.”

Rear Admiral Richard A. Rodriguez has a long and courageous navel career, serving his country with the utmost honor and dedication. Heis a native of Pacifica, California and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland.After a season as a graduate assistant football coach at USNA, he completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training with Class 161 in 1989.

Rodriguez’s West Coast assignments in Naval Special Warfare include SEAL Team One assistant platoon commander, platoon commander, and operations officer. He executed tours at Naval Special Warfare Group One, Naval Special Warfare Command, and U.S. Naval Forces Europe, London, England.Command tours include Navy Reserve (NR) Special Boat Team Twenty, NR Naval Special Warfare Unit 10, and NR Naval Special Warfare Group Three. He also served as commanding officer, Office of Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee.

Joint assignments include: Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense – Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict, and Chief of Staff U.S. Africa Command, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa. As reserve vice director for Joint Force Development, he is also the U.S. delegate to the NATO National Reserve Forces Committee.

We honor the courage, valor and dedication of these special people and encourage you to join with us to support the Navy Seal Foundation.

The Navy SEAL Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, national non-profit charitable organization.It provides immediate and ongoing assistance to the Navy Special Warfare community and its families. The foundation’s programs are designed to improve health and welfare, build and enhance resiliency, empower and educate families and provide critical support during times of illness, injury, loss, and transition. To learn more, visit: https://www.navysealfoundation.org/about-the-foundation/.

Shea Morenz is the CEO and President of Morenz Group and Bobcat Group where he and his team provide strategic guidance and expansionary capital to privately held companies with a core focus on long-term sustainability. Morenz played collegiate football and baseball at the University of Texas before being drafted by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft. He serves on the Texas Business Leadership Council, the Chancellor’s Council and Development Board for the University of Texas System as well as the Advisory Council for the McCombs School of Business.