The Night Stalker Foundation announced today that the organization’s first event in New York City on February 6, 2020 was a success. The event focused on honoring its members and their families for their heroic efforts and daily sacrifices to make the world safer.
Night Stalkers are the Soldiers of the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), the unit made famous by their depiction in the movie, “Blackhawk Down”, and the Foundation is a non-profit organization providing support to that unit’s current and former members and their families.
Attendees in the standing-room-only event listened to stories of the birth of children and spouse promotions which Angel Mangum attended as part of the command team. Angel, wife of Lieutenant General (Retired) Kevin Mangum and former commander of 160th SOAR(A), provided guests with the sense of absence felt by the families of soldiers who have been continuously deployed in support of Special Operations missions since 9-11, over eighteen years of combat missions.
“They get a call. They’re gone in two hours and we’re not sure when they’re coming back,” shared Willi Frank, President of the Families of Fallen Night Stalkers and widow of Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) Raymond Frank who gave his life in the Battle of Mogadishu.”
The pilot of Frank’s helicopter, Michael Durant, keynote speaker and captured pilot of Black Hawk Down, shared his experience on that fateful day, October 3, 1993. At the gathering he explained, “You can’t run the same football play ten times up the middle. We ran six flawless missions before this. The enemy figures it out.”
The Night Stalker Foundation works tirelessly to support these soldiers and families who have carried our nation’s burden in what has become the country’s longest war. Guests and friends from the New York metropolitan area were welcomed to this at-the-kitchen-table, intimate atmosphere common to military life.
Bill Golden, who had commanded 3/160th SOAR(A), hosted the packed gathering at the American Legion Post 754 at the New York Athletic Club. In his engaging and lighthearted manner, he talked about the unit and the soldiers and the sacrifice. He also kicked off a successful auction of signed Black Hawk Down memorabilia, private-label vintages, and distinctive bone-handled knives with unit crest, among others.
Guests responded with enthusiasm and generosity given that all of the funds raised at the event will go towards the Children Resiliency Program to help youth face the unique challenges and difficulties when parents are part of the fastest deployable task force in the nation.
The Night Stalker Foundation offers a special thanks to Bill Golden for hosting this event, as well as the American Legion Post 754 - New York Athletic Club, Stratton Leopold, Brian Supko, Duane Albro and Bill Reed for their assistance.
More information on the Night Stalker Foundation can be found on their newly launched website at https://nightstalkerfoundation.com.