Raider Legacy and Preservation

Raider Legacy and Preservation2023-09-12T14:29:10+00:00

The United States of America’s first special operations forces were the Marine Raiders of World War Two. Today’s Raiders carry on their name and legacy, as they are continually deployed throughout remote areas of the world, answering our Nations’ call and keeping America forward. The Marine Raider Foundation is proud to honor these quiet professionals who are responsible for effecting positive change for future generations and preventing conflicts from arriving on our shores by funding memorials and events dedicated to their service.


  • Funding for ceremonies, memorials and commemorative items
  • Legacy Projects that enhance the connection between WWII and MARSOC Raiders

Since standing up in May of 2012, the Marine Raider Foundation has provided over $400,000 in funding to the Raider Legacy Preservation Program.  This support includes:

  • Funding to bring WWII Marine Raiders to their annual U.S. Marine Raider Association Reunion (all travel and reunion fees are covered)
  • Funding for the construction of memorials honoring fallen Marine Raiders, including the Memorial Wall at MARSOC Headquarters, the Jonathan Gifford statue at Gifford Hall, the K9 Statue and Dog Handler Memorial Stone at the Corporal David M. Sonka Multipurpose Canine Facility, the memorial at 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, and memorial displays at Military Entrance Processing Stations
  • Funding to bring WWII Marine Raiders to modern-day Raider ceremonies and commemorative events, linking together these two generations to help preserve the legacy that originated with WWII Marine Raiders and is carried on today by modern-day Raiders
  • Funding for ceremonies that celebrate excellence within the Marine Raider community, including Marine Raider symposiums, Individual Training Course Graduation, awards ceremonies, and Celebration of Life ceremonies

As if it were not enough that the Marine Raider Foundation was there from the beginning of our grieving, they are still with us today. In the three-and-a-half years that we’ve known the fine people at the Marine Raider Foundation, they have included us in their annual Resiliency and Remembrance Weekends, supported a memorial for my son on the MARSOC Compound known as ‘USMC Cpl. David M. Sonka Kennels’, allowed us to join them at the annual Marine Corps Marathon, and most importantly, stayed in touch with us, making us feel like a part of their family. For these things, we are forever indebted. People should get involved with the Marine Raider Foundation because they are the ones helping not only Gold Star Families cope with their losses, but they also help MARSOC personnel, whether it be at home or abroad. All anyone has to do is call out for help and they are the first ones to respond - no questions asked. They are not about themselves; instead, they put the mission first. The Marine Raider Foundation was our backbone in our hardest and most trying time as a family, and still is today. Since the passing of our son, the Marine Raider Foundation is still here with us and we continue to grow closer to them. We have become a part of something bigger than us and couldn’t be any more proud to be associated with the Marine Raider Foundation.

Kevin Sonka
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