What quite a few of us have known for some time – and many more have suspected -The Wounded Warrior Project (“WWP”) appears to place the financial interests of its administrators over the needs of wounded Veterans. In a damning article recently published by The New York Times, The Wounded Warriors Project comes across as an organization built on the hypocrisy and greed of its administrators rather than truly helping wounded Veterans.
Others in the media like CBS (see video above and read the CBS news coverage) continue to follow this story and it seems likely that changes will occur within WWP to redress the balance of contributions that actually go to Veterans rather than its organizers. I certainly hope so.
I take no great pleasure in continuing to flog WPP in the media, but I was upset by a comment I read in The New York Times suggesting that the WWP organizers should be properly compensating for raising this much money for Veterans and that it is “better than nothing.” In fact, I was more than upset, I was pissed off by this silly rationalization. Let me explain why?
– Most of the contributions raised by WWP came from people over 65 (Viet Nam Vets?). If a contributor to a “good cause” feels that they have been betrayed by its fundraisers, won’t they be less inclined to support other Veteran programs with integrity?
– The Wounded Warrior Project sucked all of the air out of the room for other organizations that had a similar mission to help Veterans. In other words, many Veterans were deprived of much needed support since a large percentage of the money went to WWP administrators rather than Vets.
– Many small and worthwhile organizations are financially struggling to support our Veterans and disclosures like the greediness within WWP will only make if more difficult for these organizations to raise funds.
– While I am delighted that some Veterans received support from WWP, I shed a tear for the many Veterans that were not served because of the greed and self-interest of its administrators.
Which brings us to the news that several Veteran groups accused Donald Trump of using Veterans like political pawns in his dispute with Fox News over the moderators of the last debate. In many respects, I agree with Veterans that don’t want to be used as pawns in contentious posturing by politicians. Sadly, every four years or so, most politicians tend to embrace Veteran causes as they might disingenuously cuddle a puppy dog to encourage voters to look favorably on them.
My question is quite simple: What have these “touch-feely” politicians done to overhaul the Veterans Administration with its $170 billion annual budget during the time they spend in office? Far too little in my estimation. Over its brief history, WWP has raised under $1 billion ($750 million, but my estimate) – THIS IS LESS THAT 0.6% OF THE ANNUAL BUDGET OF THE VA.
Talk about “too big to fail,” the VA is simply “too big” and “too bureaucratic” to provide the services our brave Veterans require. Personally, I would like to see Veteran organizations take on the “big elephant” in the room – the VA – rather than quibble about how they feel “used” by political candidates. This is the “fight” that our elected leaders need to embrace if they want to truly help our Veterans.
In my opinion, the VA needs to be radically repurposed and decentralized to provide meaningful support to our Veterans. Big Pharma and politicians who feed at the trough of lobbyists will probably be opposed, but if you want to solve the problem, you need to deal with the corruption and self-interest groups within the VA first!Share