WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2019 – Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation (GWOTMF), the congressionally-designated non-profit foundation tasked with organizing, fundraising and coordinating efforts to build a new memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., today welcomed two new members to its leadership team.
The new Advisory Board member and Ambassador will contribute to the GWOTMF’s mission by lending their expertise and strategic insights in support of fulfilling our national obligation: to honor the individuals, the families, and the communities who have served, and continue to serve, in the GWOT. The new team members are:
Matt Bissonnette (GWOT Memorial Foundation Advisory Board) is a former Navy SEAL who served his country for 14 years. During his career, he deployed over 13 times in support of combat operations and the GWOT. Matt received his bachelor’s degree in 1998 and upon graduating from college, enlisted in the Navy to pursue his dream of serving his country as a Navy SEAL. Matt graduated as BUDS class 226 “Honor-man” and went on to be stationed at SEAL Team 5. During his first deployment as a Navy SEAL, 9/11 happened, and Matt was among some of the first to be deployed in support of the GWOT. In 2004, Matt completed selection and training to enter the ranks of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Matt continued to volunteer and serve at the tip of the spear throughout his career finally leaving service in 2012. Matt’s military awards include the Silver Star, 5 Bronze Stars with “V”, Purple Heart, Joint Commendation with “V”, Navy Commendation with “V”, Presidential Unit Citation and numerous other awards.
Matt continues his service by serving on the Advisory Board for the GWOT Memorial Foundation as well as advocating for transitioning veterans and helping raise money and awareness for multiple veteran-related charities. Matt is outspoken about the difficulties he and other veterans have faced with the transition out of military service and into the civilian world.
Matt is the author of two New York Times Bestselling books titled; “No Easy Day” and “No Hero”. He is also the Executive Producer of the CBS hit show “SEAL Team” and shares the leadership principles he learned while serving with a multitude of corporate executives and professional athletic organizations.
Matt is committed to helping the entire veteran community and does so without taking any personal credit. In the past, he has used the pseudonym of Mark Owen and a disguise when doing any press to keep the message focused on the team and not the individual. Joining the GWOT Team is the first time he has stepped into the spotlight but maintains his focus on the team and the mission.
“As someone who served in the Global War on Terrorism, I am honored to be a part of an organization whose mission is to rightfully honor all those impacted by this ongoing conflict,” said Bissonnette. “I look forward to continuing my work advocating for veteran-focused causes by raising awareness for the Foundation and building a Memorial that will Honor, Heal, Empower and Unite all Americans.”
Bert Sorin (GWOT Memorial Foundation Ambassador) is the current President and Co-owner of Sorinex, an exercise equipment company that has provided the U.S. Military and other various Federal Agencies with equipment for over two decades. Bert and his father, Richard Sorin, have grown the company into one of the largest exercise equipment providers in the country, all while exclusively sourcing American Made materials.
Bert is a lifelong supporter of the men and women who fight to protect our nation’s freedoms. By providing the highest quality equipment to our Armed Forces, Bert has developed deep relationships with the military and veteran communities. Through these relationships, Bert has gained an acute understanding of the challenges they not only face on the battlefield but also the equally difficult challenges they face upon returning home. Sorinex’s goal is to provide the U.S. military with the solutions they deserve. In this Ambassador role, Bert aims to provide the same world-class support to the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation.
Bert is a loving husband to his wife, Lesley, a proud father of three children, and a dedicated American citizen and veterans advocate.
“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to serve as an Ambassador for the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation,” said Sorin. “The brave men and women, and their families, who have sacrificed in support of this conflict deserve a memorial that recognizes their honor and sacrifice. This Foundation has a tremendous leadership team and I will strive to assist them in whatever capacity I can.”
“I am humbled to welcome both Matt and Bert to the GWOT Memorial Foundation team. The addition of these two well-respected servant leaders highlights the fact that service and patriotism to this great nation of ours come in many forms. Their addition will be enormously beneficial to the GWOTMF,” said GWOTMF President and CEO Michael “Rod” Rodriguez. “I am blessed to call each of these leaders my brothers, and I have no doubt they will provide unique perspectives and insights that will be highly impactful. We look forward to incorporating them into our team as we work to achieve mission success with the building of this necessary memorial.”
For a head shot and an official bio of Matt Bissonnette: https://www.gwotmemorialfoundation.org/matt-bissonnette/
For a head shot and an official bio of Bert Sorin: https://www.gwotmemorialfoundation.org/bert-sorin/
About Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation
The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Memorial Foundation is the congressionally-designated nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide the organizing, fundraising and coordinating efforts to build a memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to honor our fallen warriors, United States services members, their families and all those who have served in our nation’s longest war. Through its dedicated efforts, the Foundation seeks to build a tangible symbol of the sacrifices made by our country’s service members and their families. The Foundation is a platinum-level GuideStar participant, demonstrating its commitment to transparency.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3 million American service members have deployed in support of the GWOT (this figure does not include the DoD contractors, private contractors and other government employees who have given in support of the GWOT). Of those service members, close to 8,500 have been killed, with 52,000 wounded in action and an estimated 20 percent of veterans returning home grappling with the invisible wounds of war such as posttraumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The GWOT Memorial Foundation believes that our service members, their families and the American people deserve a fitting memorial where our country can learn about, reflect and honor their endurance and sacrifice. To learn more or donate, visit gwotmf.org or follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.