Veteran US Special Operators Aid Israeli Counterparts During Hamas War

WASHINGTON – From the board room to the battlefield, a network of retired U.S. special operators – connected during a business program – are now working to help their Israeli counterparts get the support and supplies they need to take down Hamas. 
Version Bravo is an entrepreneurship program designed to bring together retired U.S. and Israeli Navy SEALS and help them translate their unique military skills into the business world. But when Israel went to war, the relationships formed by these special operators have proven to be invaluable. 
Version Bravo’s Global Director Nuri Golan tells CBN News, “We have different channels where guys can communicate with one another where everyone used it a little bit differently. Some guys chose to update on a weekly basis or a monthly basis saying, ‘Hey, this is what happened this week. Just checking in want to let you guys know,’ or,  ‘Hey, I need help connecting to this type of company or an investor that invests in this space.'” 
After October 7th, Golan, a retired Israeli Navy SEAL himself, noticed a shift. Business networking went on the back burner, and the training that developed as special operators resurfaced.

Golan said, “I got texts from almost every single alumni who was asking how can I help from you know, from like helping with equipment to doing things a lot like wanting to come and actually physically be there and help out in the country.”

Retired U.S. Navy SEAL Rory Graman heard Israel needed night vision goggles. With the supplier only an hour away, he jumped in the car and personally tested them out.

“Those guys are letting us know that hey, you know, ‘we’re getting deployed’ to like ‘we’re in Gaza’ or ‘we’re looking for this help,’ and there’s no hesitation on any of the U.S. guys’ part to try to help out however they can,” Graman said.

He believes every Israeli member of his Version Bravo cohort is now back in active military service. And his own background gives him a pretty good idea of what they’re dealing with.

“War is definitely tough,” he said. “I’ve had two combat deployments to Afghanistan myself. There’s a lot of uncertainty. There’s a lot of fear and getting any of that help offered to you, you know, through any source is something that was what I appreciated when I was in.”
Nathan Wilkins, also a retired U.S. SEAL, believes the bond with his Israeli counterparts goes deeper than just shared military experience.
“You know we’re praying for each other, we’re you know, encouraging each other and supportive when they need it,” Wilkins said.

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From his vantage point, Golan says, despite all Version Bravo has already accomplished, it’s the relationships that inspire him the most.
“We’re really excited about the future of this program, you know, that just the impact that we can see… about the businesses, which obviously that’s like the core thing is helping guys get their business off the ground,” Golan said. “But the strength of the relationships that we’re seeing built, and bringing the communities together to me is worth every ounce of effort that we put in.”

Version Bravo was first launched in 2020. They plan to welcome the third class of veterans after the war in Gaza is won.

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