Wounded Warriors Project: Mea culpa? Not really!

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Wounded Warriors Project -  Con Game with Veterans

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.

WWP - Meetings

Source: www.actionnewsjax.com

 

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.

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Military News – Week of March 13, 2016

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Found below are few military news items that surfaced during the last week that caught my attention. I am hopeful that the titles and short commentary will encourage our readers to click on the embedded links to read more on subjects that interest them.

Drop me an email at info@sftt.org if you believe that there are other subjects that are newsworthy.

Wounded Warrior Project (“WWP”) attracts Congressional Scrutiny
A week after the top executives of the Wounded Warrior Project were fired amid accusations of lavish spending, an influential senator on a committee that oversees nonprofit organizations is asking for a detailed accounting by the country’s largest veterans’ charity.   Read more . . .

Ben Weller - Reuters

PAWS: Republican lawmakers’ bill would give veterans puppies for PTSD
Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would create a five-year pilot program pairing veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with a service dog.  Read more . . .

Veteran Unemployment hits 7-year low in October
Unemployment among all veterans reached a seven-year low last month, and the jobless rate among Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans set a new record low in October, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.  Read more . . .

US Military is looking at Cyborg Soldiers
War may be as old as time itself, but the technology behind it seems to be developing at a breakneck speed. And in the United States, cyborg soldiers are inching closer and closer to reality, as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seeks to develop an implantable brain chip that would create a direct connection between a human and a computer.   Read more . . .

VA Roles Out Plan to Reduce Veteran Suicides
The Department of Veteran Affairs is rolling out new initiatives to help reduce veteran suicides.  The new plan is the result of a summit that took place in February with VA leaders, health care professionals and veteran organizations. The VA undersecretary for health, Dr. David Shulkin, said roughly 8,000 veterans commit suicide a year.  Read more . . .

Image from Film Full Metal Jacket

Army Takes On Its Own Toxic Leaders
Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many “toxic leaders” — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army’s case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers’ mental health problems.  Read more . . .

Join SFTT in helping get our Veterans the support they deserve.

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