Tunnel to Towers Give Major Christmas Gift to Family of Late SEAL Team 8 Commander

by Courtney Blackann
(Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Tunnel to Towers founder Frank Siller learned the devastating news that a Navy SEAL Team 8 commander died following a training exercise last week. He knew immediately he wanted to help in any way possible. And Siller is doing just that. He’s raising funds to pay off the commander’s mortgage by Christmas, which will alleviate some stress from his family that was tragically left behind.

Siller knows better than most that it’s possible to take a tragic situation and make something positive out of it. He lost his brother on September 11, 2001. Since then, he founded Tunnel to Towers which aids first responders and military members.

Speaking with the hosts of “Fox & Friends” this morning, Siller explained that Commander Brian Bourgeois tragically perished last week on December 7. Several days earlier, Bourgeois had been in a terrible training accident in Virginia.

Naval Special Warfare Command said the 43-year-old commander was fast-roping down from a helicopter when he fell. He was in serious condition in the days prior to his death.

“Commander Brian Bourgeois had five children, and left behind his wife, Megan … It’s a tragedy, but at Tunnel to Towers, we want to pay off their mortgage by Christmas…Wouldn’t that be a beautiful gift to them,” Siller says.

Tunnel to Towers Founder Lets Navy SEAL Team 8 Member’s Family Know People ‘Care’

Especially this time of year, Siller said, it’s important to let people know you care about them. After suffering such a debilitating loss, donating to this cause is one way to let Cmdr. Bourgeois’ family know that people care.

When she learned that Tunnel to Towers wanted to help out and pay off their mortgage by Christmas, Siller said Bourgeois’ wife cried. The burden of paying bills for five children after the loss of her husband and their father is more than a grieving spouse could handle, he says. And Siller wants to make sure he can alleviate some kind of stress for the family.

In an obituary posted by the Virginian-Pilot, it said of Cmdr. Bourgeois:

“Commander Bourgeois was the special combination of grit and determination coupled with a laid-back, easy going personality. A leader of action, ‘Booj’ showed care and concern for those with whom he served and was endlessly present to listen and provide help when needed. He defaulted to a mindset of service to others and engaged meaningfully within the community.”

The obituary further stated:

“Nothing brought him more pride and joy than his wife, children, and dogs. He spent every possible moment pouring love and attention into his children.”

A private burial service will occur for the SEAL team commander at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Md.