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Wounded Warriors Project A Legal Scam

download13… by Alex Graham

 

As we are coming to find out, wounded Vets are big money. Considering I’m 146% disabled, I’m trying to figure out how to tap into this. The only thing I can see is to start my own 501(c)(3) and start cooking the books with a big $300 K a year salary for my work.

Member and eagled-eyed scrutinizer Bruce spotted this heartbreaking article. Just when we thought it was safe to come out of the woods after the last news of the Big Six VSOs padding their bank accounts on the backs of all our disabled, along comes this article and investigation revealing nothing is sacred among thieves.

If you were thinking about donating to the Wounded Warrior Project, think twice. It would behoove you to get in your car and drive cross-country to deliver the funds to the charity you hope to help. More money would end up in their hands than entrusting it to the WWP for disbursement. The Beatles song Tax Man comes to mind- Here’s one for you, nineteen for me. Here’s what I received. It’s ugly.

I’m really sad to read this about the Wounded Warrior Project. I have definitely been a supporter up to now. The attached 2011 990 tax return is a real eye opener! For one, that’s a lot of BIG salaries they are paying at the first and apparently the second (outsourced) level for executive compensation! Obviously it’s not only corporations that can get greedy.

>Sad to say, the Wounded Warrior Project is bled dry by a top heavy, greedy executive structure and the remaining funds are disbursed to multi-tier distribution organizations with similar management structures. By the time the money actually goes to direct benefits for veterans, there is probably less than 10% that reaches them. Below are results of an investigation by a retired USMC Colonel.

At a recent meeting of a veterans association with which I am involved, a suggestion was made that we contribute to “The Wounded Warriors Project” (WWP). As an officer of the association, I was asked to do some research and make a recommendation regarding contributing to WWP. As one who fervently believes that our wounded warriors and their care-giving families deserve our unqualified support, I also believe that the public should be informed of the appropriateness and effectiveness of charitable organizations that support veterans.

The results of my research are disappointing, to say the least. To summarize, the WWP collects a fee in the form of generous compensation paid to WWP executives who outsource fund raising, collection and distribution of funds to other 501.c.3 organizations which provide services that directly benefit veterans. The WWP would make Bernie Madoff proud!

My actual report follows for your information.

Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 8:01 PM

Subject: Wounded Warrior Project

Pursuant to your request, I have reviewed the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) FY 2011 Form 990 (copy attached). In addition, I have surveyed other available information pertaining to WWP.

I did note the pie chart percentages which you mention (Administrative Expense: 4.4%, Fundraising Exp.: 12.8%). Based on the WWP Form 990, these figures are misleading. Total 2011 revenues were $154.9 MM with total fundraising expenses of $20.5MM and total administrative expenses, including outsourced services, of $95.5MM. Note that the total administrative expense includes fund raising. Therefore, as a percentage of total revenue, administrative expenses amount to 61.63%, including fundraising expenses of 13.2%. This equates to 38.36% of revenues available to benefit wounded warriors.

As far as I can determine, WWP outsources all major functions, including fundraising, legal, donation processing, donation distribution, etc.

Compensation for the top ten WWP employees runs from $150K to $333K per officer annually.

wwpAs far as I can determine, WWP does little, if any, direct support of wounded warriors and wounded warrior programs. Rather, WWP makes grants and contributions to other 501.c.3 organizations which operate wounded warrior programs and/or serve veterans directly.

Examples of 501.c.3 organizations receiving WWP funds include Fisher House, The American Red Cross, The VFW, Easter Seals, and numerous little known and unheard of local and national organizations.

While many of these organizations provide valuable services to wounded warriors, many more are suspect. As an example, I question an expenditure of $300K for a parade. Some organizations are known to be inefficient and not the favorite of veterans (e.g. The American Red Cross). I also question the use of funds for lobbying activities. It would appear that HMM-265 Veterans Association would be eligible to receive WWP funds.

It is true that WWP was the center of controversy involving their anti-Second Amendment position, as mentioned during our general meeting.

There is no question that WWP does contribute substantial funds for the benefit of wounded warriors. Notwithstanding, it appears that a more effective use of Association funds would be to contribute directly to The Fisher House, Navy-Marine Corps Relief, The Salvation Army, and others.

Attached below is IRS Form 990 revealing the perfidy of their spending (or lack thereof). Please, sir. May I have another parade?  wwp-900-fy-2012

P.S. There seems to be a little misunderstanding about how I can be 146% disabled.  If I round it up, it is actually 150% but I have claims pending which will add to it and hopefully pay me for being housebound until I reach room temperature. If any of you are familiar with Chapter 38, Code of Federal Regulations (38CFR) , please turn to Part 3, §  3.350. Or, in the alternative, look at 38 United States Code,  § 1114. There you will find a wealth of information on how you, too, can exceed what you perceive, or have been told, is  the ceiling (100%  rating). The Statute and the regulation both deal with what is known as Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). This is in addition to your normal ratings. For example, if you have a foot or hand blown off, you get SMC “K” for about $100 more in addition to any rating(s) you have. If both your buttocks are shot off, you get one “K” for that as well. You can have up to a maximum of three “K”s simultaneously. If you have separate, ratable disabilities above and beyond 100% (or TDIU), that add up to 60% or more using 38 CFR § 4.25 tables, you get SMC “S” or housebound. If you have two (2) 100% ratings and become severely ill, losing the use of both your legs or both your arms, you are entitled to the next higher rating above SMC “L” which is “M”. This 100% “bump” continues right on up to SMC “N”. If you simply cannot conceive of being more than 100% disabled or vehemently deny its possibility, then I suggest you look in the mirror. VA has been doing it since WWII. They do not advertise this (obviously) as a number of you have never heard of it. This has absolutely nothing to do with this post but somehow has suddenly become a stumbling block for those who seek to find anything to destroy the thrust and import of the post. If you still do not believe me, I suggest you consult the  Court of Veterans Appeals (CAVC)decision of Buie v. Shinseki http://asknod.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/cavc-buie-5-v-shinseki-0-2011/. It explains the concept very clearly if you are even remotely versed in the English language.  If you are illiterate, then no one can help you absorb this concept. Quite simply, thinking the ratings table ends abruptly at 100% is like insisting the earth is flat. A Marine I helped who ate more Agent Orange and Blue than me now has  a 280% rating. He would prefer to have his Chiropractic practice back just as I would prefer to still be building houses. It’s far more financially rewarding, both mentally and physically, to work than to live on a VA compensation check and be viewed as a goldbrick.

And lastly, I take no pleasure in bearing these bad tidings. Dean Graham, no relation to me, of Help Indiana Vets was the progenitor. He and his organization are now being sued for revealing that the WWP Emperor is naked. I suppose they may try to sue me as well. Good Luck. I’ll be dead long before they get an assigned docket date. I’m Stage 4 as of June 2012 and the Bingo light is flashing red. I received the WWP info from Bruce McCartney (Tip of the Spear) in Georgia who many may remember from In The Shadow Of The Blade video of the immortal Huey UH-1 chopper video.  He did four tours back to back in-country as a combat medic in a dustoff. I think he speaks for all Veterans of the Vietnam Boundary Dispute. All Veterans help sites aspire to one thing-unity and helping Veterans of all generations. WWP was the first to advocate segregating us by which period we served. They are also the first to take umbrage with the U.S. Constitution (2nd Amendment) and organized religious entities helping Veterans under the auspices of WWP. Always remember, they alone spearheaded the passage of the VA Caregiver Act, making it a benefit only to  those who served after 9/11. Pray tell, how is a Vet gutted and left helpless and severely disabled for life by a Bouncing Betty in 1968 no less deserving of a full-time caregiver than a Vet horribly disabled by an IED in 2008? This dichotomy is the hallmark of the WWP and no other Veterans organization. Try to understand that before hurling your epithets at us. Believe me, none of us seek Andy Warhol, fifteen minute fame for a cheap shot at WWP. In the immortal words of John Rambo “They drew first blood, sir”.

I add a PP.S. to this. WWP has been using fake wounded warriors at their sponsored events as well. This came to light very recently

http://asknod.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/wwp-saving-sargent-ryan-webster/

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Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=280439

The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT or any other VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners and technicians. Legal Notice

Posted by on Dec 8 2013, With 0 Reads, Filed under Gulf War Illness (GWI), Medical Disability Benefits, PTSD, Veteran Service Organizations, Veterans Affairs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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29 Comments for “Wounded Warriors Project A Legal Scam”

  1. Well, I did some research and uncovered an interesting find, I highly value the brilliance of the individuals who speak at TED conferences, as Dan Pallotta provides, “The way we think about charity is dead wrong”

    Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let’s change the way we think about changing the world.

    See the video here:
    http://www.ted.com/talk/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html

    As far as Mr. Graham’s vitriolic diatribe on the ill-gotten gains of WWP, and other VSO’s, and the little value they provide, it is an obvious fact by his own admission that he has a personal bias, and nothing more. Many millions of veterans will say that these organizations have helped them and helped change their lives. WWP with it’s 19 programs, a first in the history of these organizations to provide a whole person approach to the severely wounded. Instead of bastardizing them, maybe all of you haters should emulate and take notice of the achievements by their metrics. Although I’m just a silly little OIF combat vet who “forgot to take his meds” as Mr. Graham put it, maybe you’ll listen to Mr. Pallotta.

  2. Unfortunately there is seemingly No End to the number of various critters
    You can ‘rescue’ ‘adopt’ ‘save’ (or otherwise alter the life of).
    All for 19.95 (per month)
    There are Real People Really Hurting. (also other critters)
    I end up yelling at the TV several times a day (not fit for family radio)
    Even as people hurt, a passel of rent seeking creep frauds are marching across my TV.
    If you want to get money to those in need, try the Salvation Army.
    I am very fond of them (though I am not religious)
    I am certain there are others who do not spend it all on themselves (and on marketing).

    John

    • Full Disclosure:
      I think the Salvation Army is on the up and up,
      and any stats I heard on them are good
      (they use the money as intended and overhead is minimal.
      I spent my Christmas in SHU one year..
      They brought us cookies (chocolate chip, homemade)
      and a Plastic Mug and a small Pocket Bible.
      I ate the cookies (one morsel at a time, made em last)
      I kept the Mug and the little Bible, I cherish them to this day
      (and I know just where they are!
      Funny how the Little Things Endear (and Endure)
      or in other cases abrade (think weather ‘cuts’..

      John

  3. Preston James, Ph.D

    Great article exposing another top charity that is a complete scam. Main purpose is to provide fat salary and benefits to those who own it and run it, just like so many others, the rest is superficial and needed to keep the funds flowing in.

    Yes, the missing Haiti donations (millions missing and went to a few top politicians) is another example of an age old scam. Thanks for exposing these users and cons. The veneer of these cons to the public is thin and when asked for facts about where every dime goes they cringe or attack. Why because they do not care about anyone but themselves (it’s called selfishness). America is filled with good, caring charitable folks who are unfortunately easily scammed by groups such as this. Yes, Madoff would be proud of ‘em. Thanks for exposing this scam which takes advantage of wounded vets to raise funds for the charities execs and does little to help the wounded vets.

  4. Recently while I was on recruiting I contacted WWIabout volunteering since aa large VA hospital was in the area. Since I’m a combat vet with I wanted to help my brothers and sisters. I was told that it was best to show my support by purchasing the Care back packs. Before that there was a big cycling event in Nashville. There was a cost to ride which in was OK with. They had a lunch with the wounded soldiers. It was gonna cost extra $125 just to eat with my brothers and sisters. Tell me this is not right, if you think this an acceptable way to help those in need. Look other places.

  5. Here’s an interesting development. We know that many in the hierarchy of WWP arrived from VA middle management. No coincidence there. What they brought with them was many of the selfsame VA programs (19 at last count) that WWP uses to engage wounded warriors. Retreats, job fairs, etc. are the pablum handed out in lieu of meaningful assistance. WWP seeks sponsorship (and hence cost) to put these on and merely hangs the WWP banner on the stage. The two Marine mothers who have taken the time to comment here have discovered this. How many more are there? Several of you have commented via Facebook or other social plugins on the pros and cons of NFP corporations having a top-heavy management with ungodly extravagant wages. Some have even equated it with being the only way to attract experienced volunteers. Since when did charity require so much ‘hands-on’ participation that vast sums needed to be diverted to keep it on track? Seems Washington’s and Colorado’s legal left-handed tobacco is escaping their borders.America has done fine by its Veterans for centuries without highly paid gomers showing up and explaining why their expertise is needed-nay- cannot be done without. I see that many “neutral” types with absolutely no relationship to WWP have arrived here to explain this requirement as well as to denigrate anyone who would condemn WWP and impugn their morals. Please. Do any of you honestly believe they need any more “volunteers” defending their exorbitant excesses?

    • I took some time to read through your articles, and some of your asknod stuff. I do get it, you literally despise VSO’s, likely because of your own claim and having to go to the Court on your own. You seem a lot like Mr. Strickland and other’s I’ve read about who lambaste, demonize, and take any and all opportunities to denigrate and pot-shot Veterans Organizations. Those same organizations that have helped millions of veterans like us (whether we know it or not), who have spent innumerable hours in different areas helping and making a difference.

      When I came home I had no community, many of these VSO’s and their chapters, posts, and other programs helped me reconnect and obtain VA Benefits. I understand you try to help others too with your blogs, etc. and kudos for your willingness there but I’m not sure that makes you an expert in the field.

      I personally think your word is poison, and that people like you don’t care about all the other veterans who benefit greatly from the WWP’s, DAV’s, American Legions, and Marine Corps Leagues etc. You seem shallowly self-interested and jaded by your own experiences and perception, that you cant seem to see these organizations for the good they do, just the money raised and how you can demonize it’s use, even through false pretenses for a personal agenda.

      I am now convinced you are just an anti-VSO Band-wagoner, and usually the people I’ve met on events and in meetings who carry those sentiments drag everyone else down and turn people off and away, who want to be a part of something positive.

      And you do volunteer here for no pay right? If not, would you mind disclosing your salary? That is all.

      • Mr. Rakkasan,
        I am not paid to write here on VT. Unlike some,I consider it a privilege to help Veterans free of charge. I have studied VA law for 5 years and one thing is certain. Having a VSO represent you is akin to no representation at all. Read my book. I have gone through the experience three times beginning in 1989. DAV, AmVets and the MOPH all had a golden opportunity to help me (and others) and couldn’t be bothered once they obtained my Power of Attorney. None of them, nor any others I have encountered, have legal training to do more than fill out the claims forms. No one ever told me or the thousands I’ve worked with that they needed a nexus letter to win. The Court of Veterans Appeals has now taken judicial notice of this shortcoming and equates representation by a Veterans Service Organization to that of being pro se. Pro se, Mr. Rakkasan, is Latin for representing oneself- something ill-advised when the VA has 500 attorneys with real Juris Doctor degrees arrayed against you. DAV has gone so far as to try to move the legal system backwards to the 19th Century and keep real Veterans lawyers out or reduce their wages to a pittance.Nevertheless, you sing their praises. Pray tell, how much do they pay you to be their shill? It is sad that you swallow that which is handed to you without doing due diligence and finding out the truth. If you read anything I write and are not blowing bubbles, you would know my sole avocation is to get Veterans service connected for their diseases and injuries and not a fancy t-shirt or backpack. I also did not go to the Court of Vet appeals unrepresented.If you have truly read about me, you would be aware of that.

        What others do to help Veterans is immaterial to me as long as they do no harm. I have one job. I teach Vets how to fish and feed them for life. Some, like you, advocate three squares a day and pat yourself on the back for donating. I see WWP as horribly divisive to the Veterans community. Much like George Orwell’s seminal Animal Farm, WWP insists that “Some Pigs are more equal that others”. I offer the same level of help to a peacetime Vet as I would a warrior. If you feel I demean Veterans with my writing and guidance, then I feel vindicated. At least someone recognizes that a few of us do this with no expectation of an earthly reward. I know that is a difficult concept to absorb for a dense mind.Veterans are the 7% club. You consider it the 5% club with an exceptionally unique group of 2% more for whom a different, (higher) accolade applies. Band of Brothers must not be in your lexicon. I, for one, doubt you could be a Vet with that selfish mindset. I’m not familiar with Mr. Strickland or what he advocates. You, on the other hand, have done a remarkable job of showing your ignorance.

        • I am first and foremost a Rakkasan, former U.S. Army Infantry, and no one’s shill (that word is definitely not in my lexicon). I will disregard the comment about Band of Brothers, as well as making the assumption that I do not respect and admire all generations of veterans. I think I advised you of such earlier, as well as my respect for your Service, and to what you do for other veterans in your own time.

          Here’s where we disagree, and you have now exposed yourself to being blatantly biased. I am quite a bit selfless and thrive on being amongst and helping in whatever small capacity, my veteran brothers and sisters. I think we all do this as individuals, or at least I hope we would. Having a sense of community, and knowing that we can depend on each other to the death is the fabric from which all honorable souls are molded in my experience. What changes after service to turn veterans against each other, is this concept you portray that OIF/OEF/OND veterans get better treatment, they do not as far as I am concerned, and especially from the standpoint of employment. But you have your career, so no worries for the already established.

          I would not knock on the door of the Military Officers Association of America and whine because I was not an officer, but an NCO and could not participate in their programs, nor would I take some half-baked information and run an Op Ed.

          Maybe we can agree to disagree on some of these points, but insulting my intelligence will not get you the response you desire. At least we know where you stand, and you have made that blatantly clear. Good day sir.

          • An excellent idea, Mr. Rakkasan. Just remember the enlightened WWP that you are so enamoured of was the author and main driving force behind the caregiver codicil recently enacted ONLY for post 9/11 Vets. I have no problem with that as I am blessed and not financially in jeopardy. Many of my fellow Band of Brothers from Vietnam, however, consider it to be blatantly arbitrary and disenfranchising a whole class of warriors simply by the date they served. Do tell us, is PTSD or a TBI injury from 2008 more deserving of a VA-paid caregiver than PTSD or stepping on a Bouncing Betty in 1968? I had more respect for you before your argument segued into our having a “disagreement”. It would be more seemly if you would stand up for your beliefs (and WWF’s) were they admirable. Instead, you digress and drag the MOAA in. This is, and always has been, a discussion of wages-or- more appropriately, a discussion of what constitutes unholy wages at the expense of our Veterans. Somehow, I and my non-wages became the subject. Ahh. T’was I that was dense. You simply forgot to take your medications today. I apologize. Thank you for your service, too.

  6. My son Jay is a grad of Walter Reeds Nursing program in 2007.I had a bad experience with Wounded Warrior Project over three years ago when I wanted to have a Reunion of Wounded Warriors in Lake Tahoe for some fun skiing and snowmobiling ect. I even developed a website that I was going to use for the event!! I could not get them to OK the event unless I was able to guaranteed $40000 in donations for the event .They ignored me until the last minute when I told them I was going live with the website. I received an email from one of the lawyers threatening me with a law suit if I used the name Wounded Warrior Project. They fired me for helping them?? I made a connection the next day with Operation Rebound and switched over to them as a fundraiser and advocate. I have vetted Operation Rebound (OR)myself by participating in their Adaptive Triathlon in San Diego. OR is the real deal!! Nico Marcolongo is the real deal and they fund and act on their mission of going from the “Frontline to the Finishline”
    Here is my website for this years Operation Rebound LakeTahoe event .Date TBD this March 2015

    http://www.veterans-militaryreunionatlaketahoebenefitingoperationrebound.com/2013/

  7. I am the mother of a WW Marine and this article is very upsetting to me on many levels. As I had to leave my life as I knew it and live at Walter Reed for about 4 months I needed all the help I could get. I am a single mom of 3 sons and after my son was critically wounded with internal injuries and the loss of his right leg I had to stop working and leave 2 children at home to ensure my wounded son had my help and support to recover. I could barely keep up on my rent and utilities and the WWP administrators are bringing home $100,000.00+ a year????? If it wasn’t for the Semper Fi Fund helping me to keep my bills paid I would have lost everything. I do have to say that the Marine Corp staff at Walter Reed were VERY supportive but I have supported WWP and convinced many family members and friends to support them as well. When my son made the All Marine team for track, and shooting at the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado the Fisher House Foundation helped pay costs for us to go and see him win bronze and silver medals. Last year I organized a Tough Mudder team with my son and some of my co-workers to run and they did it JUST because it benefited the WWP.
    I am very hurt that so many WW families suffer tremendous financial difficulties to be non medical care attendants in support of their loved ones during the most traumatic time of their lives and WWP staff are living large. How does this happen?

    • I am afraid Marine mom (from a fellow Marine mom!) that I am going to disappoint you further. Tough Mudder is another scam. my Marine son has participated in several, with me contributing to and attending one of them. After watching the dollars that are poured into that event from many military, parents, friends and supporters, I emailed Tough Mudder. I asked how much money actually went to WWP from their event. I received a generic not-really-an-answer back. So I then replied with very specific questions. I was appalled at the answer. The ONLY monies that went to WWP were those that were pledged by the participant through friends and family. NONE, and I mean Zero of the participants fees, spectator fees, parking fees, food and beverage, etc etc etc…. go to WWP. The sad part, is I don’t really believe in the WWP either. So basically, if you want to support WWP, supporters could take the pledges themselves without any involvement in the Tough Mudder scam. And let’s pile on, the WWP allows the deception to continue b/c they get pledges, all the while knowing none of the Tough Mudder event day monies benefit WWP. Someone is getting rich~

  8. I wondered how long it would take before WWP trotted out the PR flack for rebuttal. We focused NOT on what good WWP does, which is debatable, but on hierarchy and their extravagant salaries. Some insist it takes big money to attract (and hold) competent CEOs. Do tell how that applies if you start your own NFP? Conflating volume of donated funds to wage equity is a fool’s argument unless or until altruism is dead. Having talked with over twenty severely disabled Vets during the last week, I discover that few have benefited. Pre 9/11 Vets were shown the door with the “we don’t serve your kind here”.WWP would have us look not at their disgusting greed but at “retreats”, coupons and tickets which, incidentally, are, for the most part, donated by others. WWP simply jumps up on center stage and hogs the microphone. They do not “provide” anything of substance unless T-shirts and backpacks with their logo count. Donate $100 to them. After subtracting their “take”, they then hand it to the next organization which does the same. Lather, rinse and repeat until little of substance is left to the Vet. Programs featuring little or no investment dollars out of WWP’s own pockets is not what I consider helping disabled Vets. I have no 501(c) (3) and hence no salary,yet I manage to make a substantial difference to Vets-regardless of when they served.

    • Alex, all I see in your hate filled rhetoric is someone who obviously puts more value and emphasis on the dollars raised by WWP than the actual good this organization produces. Do you think Mr. Nardizzi just tripped over a couple of million dollars to start WWP and build the program from handing out backpacks and care packages to designing with his team 19 programs? I’d invite the readers to take a look at the WWP’s Board of Directors and Executive Staff for their caliber, and then assess the impact these programs have on our severely wounded. These programs aren’t free, and at no cost to the organization, and they are not just “fluff” meant to inflate the importance of these programs. Sir, I think your views are not only short sighted, but debasing and patently based upon misinformation and lies. I belong to several VSO’s and many of them have good programs to one degree or another, but not one of them has accomplished what WWP has done, nor have they cared to try.

      I invite you to go down range…experience the life wrecking effects of an IED, undergo 2 years of treatment and rehabilitation in Walter Reed, and know what it means to have WWP there with their many programs. Then transition out and still have them there, then struggle with PTSD and other injuries, and know you have a organization which is built around the needs of Wounded Warriors and their Caregivers. I do not think you’d wish to imagine what we have gone through, event those who have not gone through WR. Yet you happily jump on the bandwagon of Westboro Idiots who attempt to defame honorable organizations such as WWP.

      This is my opinion in response to yours.

      • Dear Mr. Rakkasan187,
        Thank you for your comments. I, too, have had the pleasure of a one year vacation at a VAMC to glue my body back together 4 times so I think I can say I am well-acquainted with the concept of down range. 40 years ago I developed a virus from a contaminated transfusion following a GSW. Unfortunately WWP does not offer the services of which you speak to Vietnam Veterans,I have no complaints with that facet of their shortcomings.Divide and conquer seems to be their strong suit. I experienced much the same when I came home in 72. One of your enlightened VSOs, the VFW, would have nothing to do with Vietnam Vets
        Mr. Nardizzi and his former VA cohorts may have an excellent track record delivering t-shirts and backpacks. Again, I commend them. They along with your esteemed VSOs you seem enthralled with are mountebanks, scoundrels and hucksters in my estimation. Look at my article about VSOs and notice the President of the DAV is cut from the same bolt of cloth. Thirty years ago they used to fight each other for the privilege of doing it for free. http://asknod.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/how-low-is-low/. Your Westboro analogy is especially appropriate for anyone who would seek to honor one class of Veterans to the exclusion of all others. Those who would collect money from Americans and line their own pockets with it are of the same ilk. Avaricious is as avaricious does. That is my response to your misguided opinion, sir.

        • Thank You for Your Service and I too believe the Vietnam Vets were poorly treated when they came home, and carry a lot of pain as a result of that.

          However, I think I better your point, and where this is coming from. It seems based on your statements, you had negative personal experiences when returning home, and being poorly received by other Veterans Organizations, you came to dislike or distrust many or all of them.You mentioned two others in the same post.

          So I think this is personal for you that WWP has a specific mission statement and focus, and you are not a part of that generation.

          I think I understand now, this isn’t merely because of a flawed 990 form, or slinging mud because people work for a living and get paid to do a job, this is because you believe WWP honors and empowers one generation over another, and that to you is as unfair as what VFW did when you came home in 72.

          I think you have a right to your opinion and feelings. but using your profession as a VT Columnist to misinform, demean, and discredit shows poor judgement. I look up to all generations of veterans, and I truly think the Vietnam Vets are the next greatest generation, but what your doing here is the same as someone who flames the Military Order of the Purple Heart because they were unable to join because they didn’t have a Purple Heart, then crying foul about all the good the Purple Heart does for those combat wounded.

          I think you owe the readers an apology.

          • Dear Mr. Rakkasan 187,
            It’unfortunate your psychic and psychiatric skills are so limited. This has nothing to do with me. I simply published a report by a fellow Veterans organization that wished to tell a story. It is not about me or VT. It does, however, have everything to do with the new breed of “help” for Veterans. It seems clear that WWP wants to limit their clientele (and their charitable good deeds) to post 911 Veterans. I do not fault them for it. I similarly do not fault them for their anti-Second Amendment stance nor their perceived shunning of religious organizations who wish to help Veterans. I merely disagree with the idea of raking off grossly excessive amounts of money for salaries as the Big Six VSOs are now doing as well. No one can dispute the WWP’s salary figures, yet many attempt to divert the conversation away from it. Why would I apologize for uncovering what I see as a shoddy practice? And trust me when I say I suffer no angst about the Vietnam War and my homecoming. I merely use it as an analogy to illustrate a point. Contrary to your opinion, I think the WWP owes America an explanation. Let people donate with the knowledge of where their money is going. Rationalizing the conduct of scalawags merely encourages more to do the same.

  9. Wounded Warrior Project

    One would expect that if someone wants their information to be considered legitimate, it should be fact-checked and accurate. Nothing could be further from the truth with this article. The claim that WWP does little, if any, direct support of Wounded Warriors and Wounded Warrior programs is false. WWP has 19 direct programs and services such as Family Support Programs, Combat Stress Recovery Program, and Transition Training Academy that veterans and their families participate in every day. The article also makes claims that based on our 2011 990, we spent $95 million on administrative and fundraising costs and less than 10% of donations actually reached wounded warriors. That is absolutely incorrect. If you actually read our 990 here http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/media/477620/wwp-900-fy-2012.pdf, (page 10) you will see it reflects $95.5 million in TOTAL expenses including 69.5 million spent on our programs and services. Moreover, the IRS form 990 does not present a complete picture of donations and expenditures the way independently audited financials do, and it does nothing to measure impact. Based on Wounded Warrior Project’s fiscal year 2012 audited financial statements, 81.6 percent of total expenditures goes directly to our 19 programs and services for Wounded Warriors and their families. We pride ourselves on being a leader in the industry in reporting results from our programs. You can visit:

    [Dear commenters...only one link please. It has to be the same for everybody...Thanks, Jim W.Dean]

  10. Being a standup guy, I asked my son to take a purely objective look at it from the aspect of law and as a CPA. He graduates in two weeks from Gonzaga with his Juris Doctorate. He also has a Masters in CPA. In truth he’s lazy. He wanted the top dollar job with the least work to earn it. It happens that’s in the new Bernie Madoff field of “Where’s the money?” His assessment? Perfectly legal. Perfectly, nauseatingly, nonaltruistically lucrative and legal as can be. Which comports with my assessment. I certainly do not fault Mr. Nardizzi and his former VA cohorts if they wish to live like Remora on a shark’s face, feeding off what comes to them with no effort. It’s just that I could not sleep at night with the sure knowledge that some part of my extravagant pay and that of my cohorts could better even one homeless Vet’s life. I survive on a VA 100% disability and a small SSD pension and still donate to Fisher House. I would give them more if I still worked. Fisher Houses are brick and mortar investments and tangible. Donated tickets that didn’t cost WWP a dime are not an enduring investment. Touchy, feely things are just that. You can’t eat a T-shirt.

    • Alex: I am as old fashioned as you. When I get bitter about the wage structures I remember all the boys and young men I saw dying or already dead. We cannot think with the mind of our older age-I am mid 60s. We have to remember how we thought way back when. Maybe we were naive but probably we were more realistic than they are now.

  11. long ago they’ve made it “legal” for anything “charity” to spend 90% for administration and distribution.
    when Haiti got slammed they raked billions, the Haitian people got military occupation, concentration camps, kidnapping paedophiles and more, all in the name of “charitable help”?!! its how they operate.
    UNicef, Save the Children, and countless others, are all the same because its “legal”.

    • When they call us on the phone, I tell them to send me their written reports on their organization. This often angers many of them.
      In northern NY I used to get calls from a man with a Bronx, NY accent who said he was collecting for the annual NY sheriffs canine association/police dogs etc–was the funniest scammer ever but he always got real nasty when I told him over and over to send the info, and I also told him he was a crook.

      • sounds like the “officer down” charity when those guys really ought to have insurance anyway.
        the media always cries about a downed officer but never says what kinda SOB mightta deserved it.
        theres a recent infowars article about a santa rosa cop who shot a young teen carrying an airsoft gun seven times, who is right back on the job about 6 weeks later.

        police dogs: defending yourself from an animal trained to rip you to shreds is regarded as assaulting (or killing) an officer, and we are supposed to respect an organization that regards us as being less than and less important than their trained attack beasts? HAH! they invade homes all the time killing family pets for daring to bark and THEY are never charged with murder, but they’ll sure charge YOU!

        • Not going to argue with you but I will share this with you. OBVIOUSLY you have never been a cop! I am a former Deputy Sheriff and until you take the oath of a police officer, put on your bullet resistant vest and your other 15 to 20 pounds of gear, including a weapon and walk in our/their shoes, DON’T BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE. Most officers carry death and dismemberment and life insurance polices at their own expense in addition to the pittance given by the Department hoping never to need them. EVERY OFFICER hopes (s)he never has to pull their weapon out of the holster and shoot another human being. The scariest moment in my 14 years was when I drew and pointed my weapon at two individuals in an unsecured and unlit gymnasium during a high school football game carrying rifles. When my partner got the lights on and I saw 2 ROTC cadets through my sights I began to shake violently. Had either of them moved in the dark, there is no doubt I would have killed one or both of them and I would have had to live with killing a child the rest of my life, just as the Sana Rosa Officer will. Police Officers are issued weapons for THEIR self defense not yours. As for “being less than and less important than their trained attack beasts”, officers will not just release their K-9 on an individual. K-9s are used as a “compliance tool” when dealing with individuals that are normally in a confined space and are refusing to comply with an officer’s orders. You being “attacked” is on you when you don’t follow instructions.

          • no attack on you personally and there ARE some very good guys out there too..
            but a “compliance tool” like a tazer, which has killed well over 500 people nowadays, isnt ever going to be considered an officer being assaulted. hell no I’ve never been a cop, but it is also my belief it is the duty of the office of a Sherriff to protect the people, more often this is failed when FEDS operating outside their jurisdiction decide to attack-raid someplace.
            yeah I can relate, finding kids with rifles or what looked like rifles on a campus would be a very scary situation, if they were criminals, just saying “BOO” couldda got you shot at!
            (glad it was your scariest moment and that you excercized good judgement and restraint)
            training has also changed, it used to be about shooting to disable-subdue someone, not unloading a full clip to guarantee eliminating a threat, permanently! somewhat understandable with consideration given to crazy youngins in gangs who ARE packing, that’d rather try to fight or shoot instead of accepting any responsibility. I’d disagree about “EVERY OFFICER” of course, we’ve all seen plenty of clips and articles about bad ones who DO get small slaps on the wrists, relocated if things get too thick. the us vs them blue line gets pretty awful, like the drunk Indianapolis cop who mowed down 3 motorcyclists getting away with it because the blood alcohol test wasnt performed in THEIR “approved lab”.. and countless other cases.

          • Santa Rosa HAS become a little gangland, decades ago. I’m not really being so quick to judge but unloading a full clip like that, sounds pretty outrageous to me, even not being there. the failure to comply to an officers orders has been used, overused, and abused. “orders” and “instructions” sure seem to be interchangeable at whim? “THEIR self defense not yours” is also very possibly defining of an us vs them mindset programming, that I do feel is correct to question. things DO happen, like yelling at someone “stop resisting” when they’ve just been tazered and dont have any control over their own muscles, gets tazed again?! wow. “compliance tool”, “pain compliance”, are we talking about torture and abuse yet?
            I’m sure we both get it debates like this could go on for a long time, and to me it isnt really argument, accusations, or “case making”, just real world thoughts, considerations, a bit of somewhat intellectual thought provoking discussion that sometimes DOES get a little personal too. no doubt too, sometimes even a good guy in the field doesnt have that kind of time!

  12. I appreciate this column. I acted on my instincts and never donated to WWP even though I get lots of requests from them wherein some of the letters have purple heart stamps in them. Having worked with thousands of soldiers (Army “wounded warriors”, I did not want any money to go to those soldiers who have been scamming the government in order to get retirement benefits and further VA money for disability. A very large percentage of WW were pushed through basic training and then the next stop where they learned MOS skills. When it was time to deploy or just plain work, they said they couldn’t do it. I also saw many Guard and Reserve soldiers who did not deploy and many more who did deploy but then complained of a dozen or so bogus disorders due to military service.
    If one does investigations on thousands of soldiers, it is easy to see who are the honorable, honest people as opposed to all the scammers.
    If you work for the government you will lose your job if you use the word “lie”. You cannot tell a case manager etc that SGT so and so is “lying”. The soldier will go to the command who will then hang you and possibly the case manager.
    The take for admin for this WWP says to me “money, money, money first”; “wounded” warriors second. I am happy to get this info- nothing shocks me anymore.

  13. How much money is given to Americans who don’t join the army because they don’t want to terrorize or kill brown people in the Middle East on behalf of Israel?

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