December 9, 2015
The Singapore Chapter of the Navy League of the United States partnered with local sponsors to bring an American hero, Andy Stumpf, to Singapore for an address given at the Conrad Centennial Hotel. The event included a silent auction, an introduction by Navy League President, Ray Corrigan, and a cocktail reception following the presentation. During his time in Singapore, Andy also visited several schools to share his inspiring story with students.
Andy began his U.S. military career at age 17, transitioning from an enlisted man to an officer and member of the elite Navy Seal Team 6 over a 17-year career. Injury in the line of duty precipitated his leaving the U.S. military. Now a retired Navy Lieutenant, Andy continues to serve his country and the Navy Seals through fundraising for the Navy Seal Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing support to the families of deceased service men and women.
“The U.S. military is great at supporting families for the first year after the death of the service man, but it doesn’t do much after that,” says Andy.
The Navy SEAL Foundation helps to fill the gaps by providing services like education on money management and childcare. It is enduring care that will remain steadfast until the family no longer needs help. Securing this kind of support for the families of fallen Navy SEALs is especially important to Andy because of his personal connection to those who have suffered.
“I knew most of the guys (Navy SEALs) that died between 9/11 and today. I knew all of the guys on the helicopter that went down,” Andy reflects. Due to his injury, Andy had left Navy SEAL Team 6 before the tragic incident in which Extortion 17 was shot down on a mission in Afghanistan in 2011. All on board were killed, including Andy’s previous teammates. SEALs stay together in the same team for up to 15 years, which is unique in the U.S. military system where most teams are, at best, on a 3-year rotation. Andy was very close to his teammates and has remained dedicated to the families of the deceased.
During his time as a Navy SEAL, Andy and his team underwent a major strategic change in purpose and training. When President Kennedy commissioned Navy SEAL Teams 1 and 2 around the time of the Vietnam War, they were trained as a maritime special operations force for the U.S. Navy. Indeed, the Navy SEALs were said to ‘Always have one foot in the water.’ While SEAL training continued after the Vietnam War concluded, SEAL life was hypothetical until 9/11.
“Tactics for 9/11 was theoretical,” Andy explains. “We had to transition from a force that was diving once a week to a force that would be in the desert 80% of the time. We discovered we were woefully unprepared for the battle space.”
Fortunately for the U.S. Navy SEALs, this kind of high-pressure adaptation is exactly what they are trained for. “You don’t learn anything in SEAL training. They are looking for a personality type that they can hone,” says Andy. “They sharpen certain qualities like a knife.” The tactical, communication, and problem-solving skills inherent in a U.S. Navy SEAL provide the bedrock upon which responsibility for some of the most important missions in United States warfare rest. Andy’s continued dedication to the families of fallen SEALs is a testament both to himself and the U.S. Navy SEALs.
Andy continues to fight, risking his life by breaking world records in wingsuit jumps, a highly dangerous endeavor. His goal is to raise $1 million dollars to fund the Navy SEAL Foundation Survivor Program for 2016. Andy garnered much respect and support during his visit to Singapore and looks forward to returning later in 2016. The Singapore Chapter of the U.S. Navy League would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who gave their support to Andy, especially Simon Moore and Andy’s family, without whose help this event would not have been possible.
To learn more about Andy, dontate to his cause, and watch his video, “Man on a Mission,” please visit Andy’s webpage at: https://www.gofundme.com/NSFmanonamission
All donations to Andy’s page are automatically transferred to the SEAL Foundation via WePay. The Foundation is a 501©3 non-profit and donations are tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.