The Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced plans this week to raise enough funds by Christmas to pay off the mortgage of the recently fallen SEAL Team 8 commander’s home.

Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, 43, died Dec. 7 after sustaining critical injuries during a fast-rope training exercise in Virginia Beach, Virginia, three days prior. He leaves behind a wife and five children, all of whom were with him when he passed.

“The loss of a husband and father is heartbreaking at any time of year, but even more so at Christmas,” Tunnel to Towers Foundation Chairman and CEO Frank Siller said in an interview with Fox and Friends.

“I am calling on all Americans to help us lift the burden of a mortgage off this family as quickly as possible, so they know they can stay in their home they shared with Brian this Christmas and every Christmas going forward,” Siller added.

Bourgeois was a Naval Academy football player and 2001 graduate. He served in the special warfare community for more than two decades and was previously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor device.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded to honor the legacy of New York Firefighter Stephen Siller, who was killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. For 20 years, the foundation has worked to support first responders, veterans and Gold Star families.

Donations for Bourgeois’s family can be made on the foundation’s website. Every dollar donated will go directly to paying for the family’s home, the foundation said in a press release.

Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran and a master's candidate at New York University's Business & Economic Reporting program.

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