Union Construction Industry Raises $500,000 for Military Families at Charity Fundraiser

Proceeds from Sweeney Classic golf tournament will support SEAL Family Foundation

COUNTRYSIDE, IL – Today, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney presented a check for $500,000 to the Navy SEAL Family Foundation at Local 150’s charity golf fundraiser, the James M. Sweeney Classic.

The event hosted more than 500 golfers across four golf courses in Lemont, and the check was presented to SEAL Family Foundation Executive Director Capt. William Fenick and retired SEAL Captain Mike Argo, who serves on the SEAL Family Foundation’s Board of Directors. The event brought together a cross-section of workers, business leaders, elected officials and military families.

“The union construction industry is proud to support military families,” said IUOE Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney. “Veterans are a big part of the union construction industry, and we are proud to welcome returning veterans to our industry with open arms. It is an honor to be come together and give back to those who have sacrificed so much for us.”

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and active Navy SEAL Ed Byers, Jr. was present to thank supporters and share the importance of the charity’s work for military families.

Photo Caption: IUOE Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney (third from left) presents a check for $500,000 for the SEAL Family Foundation to SEAL Family Foundation Executive Director Captain William Fenick, Gold Star Spouse Cindy Axelson, and retired SEAL Captain Mike Argo at the James M. Sweeney Classic Golf Tournament on August 13th at Gleneagles Country Club in Lemont, Illinois.

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About IUOE Local 150: The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 is a labor union representing 23,000 working men and women in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Local 150 represents workers in various industries, including construction, construction material production, public works, concrete pumping, steel mill service, slag production and others.

About the SEAL Family Foundation: The SEAL Family Foundation focuses on creating individual and family readiness through an array of programs specifically targeted to assist the Naval Special Warfare community in maintaining a resilient, sustainable, and healthy force. U.S. Navy SEALs ability to stay ready determines the success of every mission; part of our job is to facilitate that state of readiness at home by ensuring every Naval Special Warfare service member knows their family is, and will be, taken care of.

Our motto is “Taking Care of THEIR Families While They Protect OURS.” The SEAL Family Foundation programs include hosting family introduction dinners upon graduation, spouse and family retreats, children’s educational support programs, family readiness group grants, emergency assistance, wounded warrior and fallen hero family care, and bereavement support.

Drew VachalUnion Construction Industry Raises $500,000 for Military Families at Charity Fundraiser
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Gold Star Mother’s Day

Today we recognize and honor those who have lost a son or daughter while serving the United States Armed Forces. Today is “Gold Star Mother’s Day” and we wanted to thank all the Gold Star Mothers out there who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We thank you and will never forget.

Drew VachalGold Star Mother’s Day
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Naval Special Warfare Command Holds Change of Command Ceremony

Congratulations to Admiral Tim Szymanski for taking the lead today as the Commander Naval Special Warfare Command, and a special thank you to Admiral Brian Losey who led this important force this past three years. Naval Special Warfare was and will continue to be under the best leadership.

For more information visit Navy.Mil

Drew VachalNaval Special Warfare Command Holds Change of Command Ceremony
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10 Tips On Raising Resilient Kids From An Al Qaeda-Fighting Navy SEAL


 on September 21, 2015
Teach your children to overcome hardship with these tips.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Fatherly, a digital lifestyle guide for men entering parenthood.  

Eric Greitens is no parenting expert, so why should you listen to his tips on raising resilient kids? Take your pick: The guy is a Rhodes Scholar with a doctoral degree in ethics, philosophy, and public policy. After doing humanitarian work in some of the less pleasant corners of the world, he became a Navy SEAL with four deployments, including a turn commanding an al Qaeda targeting cell. Along the way, he picked up a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and seven other major military awards and commendations. Greitens has persevered through more in one life than most could in five, and he did all that before having his first kid last year. So, how has he applied what he knows about resilience to that little adventure?

1. If you’re not a resilient guy, your kid won’t be a resilient kid.“To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, who you are will speak more loudly to your children than anything you say,” says Greitens. If they see you always able to pick yourself up when you’ve been knocked down, that’s behavior they’re going to adopt intuitively. While you’re at it, maybe try to get knocked down a little less.

2. Being resilient begins with taking responsibility.

If you have no ownership over anything — actions, property, your sister’s feelings — then you have no incentive try hard or try again when the moment calls for it. “Teach your children early not to pass the blame or make excuses, but to take responsibility for their actions” says Greitens. That doesn’t just apply when they tag their sister in the face with a rubber band; it’s just as important when they agree to walk the dog or keep their room clean.

3. Empower them through service.

Helping others teaches all sorts of important skills, including empathy and resourcefulness and an understanding that life’s a box of chocolates and sometimes you pick the one with the gross orange-flavored filling. But, more importantly, Greitens says, “Children who know that they have something to offer others will learn that they can shape the world around them for the better.” That’s a powerful source of optimism for a kid, and it will come in handy when you’re old and broke.

4. Make a daily habit of being grateful.

Now that your kids are seeing what misfortune looks like through their service, it’s a good time to introduce the idea of gratitude. If nothing else in life, they’ve got a father who loves them unconditionally and irrationally (they probably also have a roof over their head and three square meals a day, too), and not everyone is so lucky. Taking a minute out of each day to remember that makes it easier to handle whatever curveball comes next.

5. Resist the urge to fix, solve, or answer everything for them.

“Your children should know that you’re always there for them, and that they can call on you when needed,” says Greitens. “But give them the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.” You know you’re supposed to object to this and insist that you just can’t help rushing in to save them because you love them so much, but admit it: His plan is way less work for you.

6. Help them understand consequences, for better and worse.

Learning the negative consequences of their actions is a key step in your kids’ understanding why they shouldn’t torture the dog and why they should do their homework. It’s on you to enforce the consequences that are within your control, but they don’t always have to be negative — understanding how their actions can also have positive outcomes will help them look for the best course of action in any situation.

7. Failure is a good thing.

“In failure, children learn how to struggle with adversity and how to confront fear. By reflecting on failure, children begin to see how to correct themselves and then try again with better results. A culture that rewards failure with trophies steals from children the great treasure chest of wisdom that comes from pain, from difficulty, from falling short.” Considering that, when Greitens talks about struggling with adversity and confronting fear, he means, “Shit I saw serving as a Navy SEAL,” it’s probably best to take him at his word on this one.

8. Allow risk taking.

Failure, consequences, independence, responsibility — every single one of the aforementioned tips involves your kid taking some kind of risk. If you try too hard to mitigate those risks, you mitigate your whole kid. “To be something we never were, we have to do something we’ve never done,” says Greitens. Again, Navy SEAL. Don’t argue.

9. Know when to bring the authority.

“Not every risk is a good risk to take, and adults need to be clear with children about what will and won’t be tolerated. Children don’t get to choose to ride in a car without seatbelts,” says Greitens. Properly wielded, authority actually frees your kid up to take the good kind of risks, because you’ve established safe limits within which to operate — like, in the yard, but not in the street. Or in their pants and not without pants.

10. Demonstrate your love for them every day.

What? You thought the guy was a hardass just because of the whole Navy SEAL thing?

This article, “10 Tips On Raising Resilient Kids From An Al Qaeda-Fighting Rhodes Scholar,” originally appeared on Fatherly.


Fatherly is a parenting resource for men who understand that embracing what they’ve become doesn’t mean giving up who they are. Men who want to be great fathers without turning into cliches. Fatherly delivers expert-driven, evidenced-based parenting insights along with product and service suggestions tailored by age. Follow Fatherly on Twitter @FatherlyHQ
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