Blog - Written by on Friday, June 5, 2015 16:03

SEAL-NSW Family Foundation Coverage of May 16 Event About Battleship USS Iowa

From The Canyon News
Life & Style Features by Christopher Floch – May 22, 2015

Merrill Palin
Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin talks with SEAL-NSW Family Foundation’s Kim Merrill about the drought in California. Photo by Michael C. Floch.

SAN PEDRO—Aboard the iconic USS IOWA Battleship on Saturday, May 16, Navy Seals wowed the crowd with a flaming parachute demonstration, while holding Old Glory landing on target at San Pedro Harbor. The event was dedicated to honor the Naval and Special Warfare community with a dinner gala and fundraiser.

This included a silent auction and dinner with dignitaries and celebrities including Sarah Palin, Jim Brown, Sharon Stone and Gene Simmons just to name a few. They came out for a beautiful evening of entertainment which included a rousing performance by “American Idol” star Elliot Yamin. There was 5 and 16 gun salute, an Los Angeles Fire Department fireboat demonstration, and a breath taking flyover by the Condor Squadron.

The NSWFF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises awareness and funds for special programs in direct support of the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) families on a local, national and global scale. Founded in 2008, to support 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 in this era of persistent conflict and frequent deployments.

Their motto is: “Taking care of their families while they protect OURS.”

Northern Trust, a Pasadena institution is a Trident sponsor. Peter Heilbron told the Star News, “one of our clients recommended this worthy cause; we felt compelled to offer help and sponsor the NSW”. There is also a Navy recruiting center in Pasadena on Colorado Boulevard.

“It’s an honor to be here to help raise money for families of Navy SEALS and do whatever we can to show we appreciate this great country and those who have sacrificed so much for us,” said former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin. Committee Co-Chair Brent Gleeson, Navy Seal Combat Veteran, invited the Palins to this worthy cause.

“Brent e-mailed us about the NSW and all of the amazing work they do to support the NAVY SEALS and their families, we jumped at the invitation,” said Palin.

The National Anthem was performed by KISS frontman Gene Simmons. The Nation’s Colors presented by the United States Marines from the 3rd Air Naval Gunfire Company.

The Keynote speaker, four-star General Michael Hayden served as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, also former Director of the National Security Agency. As head of the keystone intelligence-gathering agencies, he was on the frontline of geopolitical strife and the war on terrorism. Hayden became director of the CIA in 2006.

The USS IOWA was first deployed to the South Pacific during World War II, serving with distinction, and later in the Korean War. Forged in war, guardian of peace the proud ship keeps watch as the stately sentinel of the Los Angeles Waterfront.

To cap the evening was a magnificent firework display that illuminated the entire harbor. To learn more about the foundation, to donate or volunteer service, please visit


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