In yet another chapter of supreme arrogance and/or delusional behavior, Wounded Warriors Project (“WWP”) is issuing the following note to “dedicated supporters” – excerpts of which are quoted below:
The Board of WWP has received the results of a review about allegations raised in the news about WWP. In connection with this independent and objective review, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has been serving as the Board’s legal counsel and FTI Consulting has been providing forensic accounting services.
The review found that 80.6 percent of the donations given to WWP go to support warriors’ and their families’ participation in our 20 free, direct programs and services. The organization’s commitment to injured service members, their caregivers and family members remains steadfast.
However, the review also found that some policies, procedures and controls at WWP have not kept pace with the organization’s rapid growth over the last few years and are in need of strengthening.
To put these changes into effect and help restore the trust in the organization among all of the constituencies WWP serves, the Board determined the organization would benefit from new leadership. As such, effectively immediately, CEO Steve Nardizzi and COO Al Giordano are no longer with the organization.
What remains undisputed is that WWP has helped and continues to help thousands of wounded veterans on a daily basis, and we remain extremely grateful to people like you whose extraordinary generosity makes that work possible.
Now, if you sincerely believe this self-serving nonsense, I have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn that I will sell you quite cheaply.
Clearly, this is a desperate appeal to donors who have been fleeced by an organization which – at best – has “lost its way,” or – in my opinion – cynically used the tragic plight of Veterans to line the pockets of WWP’s organizers and administrators.
Pardon me, but you don’t need “forensic accounting services” to tell you that fund-raising has always been a more important priority to its organizers than helping Veterans recover their lives. Most of WWP’s expenditures for the 20 or so WWP programs to aid Veterans can be classified as “feel good” programs with little tangible long term benefits for either the Veteran or their loved ones.
Nevertheless, these “feel good” programs are great fund-raisers, which simply exploits Veterans for the benefit of their organizers. Such hypocrisy!
The New York Times reports today that Senator Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican and a member of the Senate Finance committee “is asking for a detailed accounting by the country’s largest veterans’ charity.” Senator Grassley correctly argues that:
“If true, these allegations are a breach of faith with donors, taxpayers, and, more importantly, veterans,”
As a “dedicated supporter” of Veteran causes, WWP has lost my trust and I believe that this self-serving apology is simply an indication of WWP’s continued arrogance and insincerity.
If WWP wants to regain my support and the support of other genuinely concerned donors, then the Board of Directors and current executive leadership should resign immediately. Furthermore, any existing monies or new contributions should be placed in an escrow account and disbursed only through a court-appointed Trustee.
This Trustee should appoint an independent third-party to administer existing programs, review all personnel practices and funding decisions and make recommendations as to which of the 20 or so programs should be allowed to continue, scrapped or modified.
Anything short of getting rid of the current crop of “bad apples,” who are currently running or overseeing WWP, is simply a slap-in-the-face to this organization’s donors, Veterans and their loved ones.